Self-driving cars in 2020: how far we’ve come?

We’ll take a look at retrospective to see how far self-driving cars have come in 2020, as well as which self-driving car ambitions have come true and which flopped. Given their popularity propelled by Tesla and other manufacturers like Google’s Waymo that followed suit, it has come far and advanced exponentially within the last ten years. But first, let’s see predictions for the automated car market in the future.

How viable is used self-driving market?

Look at the example of electric cars now, where the demand was slow and only boomed recently. Just like hybrid and electric vehicles, used self-driving cars may be a popular choice in the future once it becomes more developed. They will likely be more expensive than regular cars though, so the lenders should be prepared to provide attractive finance deals. One of the companies that work with a panel of finance lenders is Stoneacre where they provide specialised used car finance, you can check it out here.

Driverless taxis

There’s been a buzz around autonomous vehicles and how they could decrease car ownership. The fact is that mainstream self-driving taxis don’t exist yet. Many experiments and tests have been made, but not one proved to be effective enough to roll out across nations in a uniform way. For example, GM Motors partnered with Lyft back in 2017 to deploy its autonomous cars. Instead, they delayed rolling out the cars because efficient safety measures weren’t in place. They’re still in the testing phase to this day.

Fully autonomous vehicles (AV’s)

When it comes to AV’s, there are five autonomy levels that the vehicles can have:

  • Level 0 – no automation.
  • Level 1 – only a few automated features included, such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) & cruise speed control.
  • Level 2 – partial automation level which has more advanced features than the first one.
  • Level 3 – conditional automation where the driver should be present, as AV’s do some of the work. They’re usually equipped with emergency braking and advanced video sensors.
  • Level 4 – it has high levels of automation; the driver doesn’t have to be present as the AV can perform most of the tasks itself.
  • Level 5 – a fully autonomous car without a driver.

There’s been a race going on between top manufacturers who can create the first fully autonomous car. The fact is, all cars in today’s market are level 0-4 and most require drivers to be present.  Companies have finally realised that taking small, carefully planned steps is far better than quickly producing cars that take lives. Additionally, they’ve started collaborating instead of competing which should spur the AV progress in the right direction beyond 2020.

Personal use of automated cars

This one has come true – you cannot yet purchase an autonomous vehicle, but automated cars with advanced driver safety features are up for sale. Most of the manufacturers have their vehicles integrated, ready to enter and grab a share of this self-driving market. Popular examples include Tesla Model X, Nissan Leaf, Mercedes-Benz S-class, Audi A8 and others.

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