Automakers and Companies Don't Agree on a Timeline for Driverless Cars

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【Summary】According to a report by Reuters, automakers and companies, even ones that are working together, can’t agree on a timeline for when autonomous cars will be on the road.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Mar 23, 2017 1:30 PM PT
Automakers and Companies Don't Agree on a Timeline for Driverless Cars

It seems like automakers and companies are closing in on releasing autonomous cars to the masses. Large, well-known technology companies are starting to team up with automotive suppliers to fast track the process. Working together gives companies access to more tech and works, making it easier to develop and engineer software, as well as hardware. Intel's purchase of Mobileye for $15.3 billion is a prime example of the partnerships that are happening, and will continue to happen, in the industry.

Are Partnerships Beneficial?

After the massive deal between Intel and Mobileye, Bosch, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, and Nvidia announced a partnership to develop artificial intelligence for driverless vehicles. But as a report from Reuters points out, partnering with another company to make self-driving tech may not expedite the process. 

CEO of Nvidia, Jen-Hsun Huang, according to the report, believes that automakers will expedite their plans to release self-driving technology sooner rather than later. Huang expects fully autonomous vehicles to be on the road by 2025. "Because of deep learning, because of AI (artificial intelligence) computing, we've really supercharged our roadmap to autonomous vehicles," Huang said in a keynote speech to the Bosch Connected World conference in Berlin, Germany, reports Reuters

Despite being partners with Nvidia, Bosch sees things a little differently. The outlet reports that the automotive supplier declined to provide a timeline for when a completely autonomous vehicle would be released, which could be due to the fact that the company doesn't see a full-autonomous car ever being on the road, and stated that it could take six years or longer before entering the final stages of driverless vehicles. 

"Of course, we still have to prove than autonomous car does better in driving and has less accidents than a human being," Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner told a news conference, reports Reuters

Safety Or Technology First?

The issue with releasing a timeline that works for both suppliers and companies becomes clear when you look at the way Nvidia and Bosch view autonomous cars. Nvidia believes that it is being held up by the development and testing of tech. Getting a vehicle to drive itself by using numerous sensors and cameras is commonplace, but Nvidia is going in another direction by attempting to give cars the ability to write their own software code through artificial intelligence. 

Bosch, on the other hand, is concerned with who's at fault when an autonomous car gets into an accident and preventing hackers from overtaking a self-driving car. Automotive suppliers, like Bosch, are at the mercy of governments, or individual states in the United States that have been left to create self-driving rules on their own. 

In addition to having differing views on when self-driving cars will come out, automakers and companies also have different opinions on the type of technology that will be released. BMW, for example believes that it can deliver a Level 5, fully autonomous car by 2021. Bosch, according to Reuters, thinks that Level 3 cars will come out towards the end of the decade, while Level 4 technology won't come until 2025. 

The fact that automakers and companies, even ones that are working together, can't agree on a timeline will result in two lines of thoughts: one where companies rush to put technology that isn't quite ready in cars, essentially making drivers guinea pigs and another where companies take numerous years to ensure that the tech is ready before giving it to the masses, risking falling behind. 

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