Uber Boss States That Autonomous Cars Are at Least 10 Years Away

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【Summary】Uber's CEO recently stated that autonomous vehicles won't be on the road for at least another 10 years, which mimics what other tech company owners have been saying.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Mar 11, 2018 11:30 AM PT
Uber Boss States That Autonomous Cars Are at Least 10 Years Away

If there are a few companies leading the way in the autonomous revolution, Uber is one of them. Earlier this year, Uber stated that it had plans to ferry passengers in driverless vehicles with no human backup in 2019. To reach that goal, which is just one of many that the company has, Uber is pouring millions of dollars into developing new technology and testing. 

Fully-Driverless Cars Are A Decade Away

With all of the money that Uber is putting into an autonomous future, one would think that the company believes driverless vehicles are right around the corner. Unfortunately, that's not the case. At a technology conference in Germany, Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, claimed that fully autonomous vehicles are still 10 to 15 years away. 

Khosrowshahi isn't the only CEO to state that self-driving vehicles are still off in the distance. Last November, the CEO of Nvidia, Jensen Huang, stated that fully autonomous cars are still four years away. Uber's CEO isn't as hopeful, as his timeline is nearly three times longer than the one from Nvidia's CEO. 

The boss at the head of Uber claims that LiDAR equipment and the need for companies to map out locations will take longer than everyone predicts. 

Austin Russell, CEO of Silicon Valley startup Luminar, believes that LiDAR systems could drive the price of vehicles up to between $300,000 and $400,000. Entry-level LiDAR systems cost roughly $8,000, while high-end ones carry a price tag of approximately $80,000. 

Ride-sharing companies are racing towards autonomous vehicles, as taking human drivers out of the equation will make rides safer and cheaper. But the path to creating driverless cars for ride-hailing purposes will be a difficult one. 

There's Still A Lot Of Work Left

"The road from now, to full autonomous is going to take a significant part of work," said Khosrowshahi, who took over the reigns from previous CEO Travis Kalanick, reports The Telegraph. "We map every city to three centimeters, [that takes] a huge amount of effort and data, and sensor tech has to come down very significantly. Full autonomy, I think we're talking 10 to 15 years." 

While Uber's CEO doesn't believe that autonomous vehicles will be on the road until the next decade, Waymo started operating autonomous minivans without a backup driver since last November. More recently, the company confirmed that it was testing vehicles with self-driving components in San Francisco

If Uber's CEO is correct, then all of the money that's being invested into autonomous vehicles is being put into the segment prematurely as a way of ensuring that no one falls behind. And the cars that are on the road testing are being put through their paces to help companies develop new technology. 

If there's one person out there that knows what he's talking about when it comes to autonomous vehicles, it's Uber's CEO. Will autonomous cars be on the road by 2020? Probably not. And if they are, Khosrowshahi will be just as shocked as everyone else. 

via: The Telegraph

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