As 2016 ignited the automotive revolution with significant announcements and concepts, 2017 completely paved the road for future mobility, and 2018 brought us semi-autonomous embedded features with safety technologies, 2019 will drive us (even more) forward on self-driving than ever before.
Several companies (like Waymo, Argo, Uber, Aurora, or Ford) together with joint ventures (like Google and Volvo or Renault-Nissan, or Amazon and Audi) and disruptive startups are focusing this year on maturing Autonomous Vehicles, ramping-up electric vehicles (EV) and ride-sharing cars, and also enhancing connectivity capabilities.
Car Makers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and suppliers are taking advantage of deployed Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in automotive to keep improving self-driving vehicles and leveraging the millions of miles of on-road experience. They all will be under severe scrutiny in 2019 due autonomous cars and trucks are quickly becoming a commercial reality, proliferating into new regions —gaining more mass appealing and increased public awareness.
However, there are many challenges for autonomous systems yet to overcome: the response on edge situations (like snowy roads or erratic driver behavior), the acknowledgment and care of pedestrians, and the exchange and communication with other vehicles and streets, together with regulatory and ethical questions that need to be answered before self-driving vehicles take over the roads. Still, there is no doubt the efforts and the autonomous technology are starting to mature and is coming —and will stay once arrived.
2019 will drive us (even more) forward and will be a pivotal year for self-driving cars and trucks: moving them from research and development phase to early stages of commercialization as a growing number of cities have approved autonomous vehicle pilot programs, accelerating their time to market.