Fully Autonomous Cars Are Moving Forward Fast, So Are Efforts To Secure Them

Autonomous vehicles have been on a path to widespread availability and adoption for some time. But this technology is now moving forward much faster than most people realize.

Both Tesla and General Motors this fall made news with their fully autonomous vehicle efforts. Tesla CEO Elon Musk in September said the test version of its fully self-driving Autopilot system would be released in “a month or so.” Less than a month later, Tesla revealed plans to offer a limited number of drivers a beta of this capability. Around the same time, GM announced plans to launch a test of unmanned autonomous vehicles by the end of this year in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Google Waymo and Volkswagen are moving ahead with self-driving commercial truck efforts. Some companies are working on using automated follower trucks in the platooning of multiple trucks, too. This can entail having a human at the wheel of the lead truck only. Peloton Technology and Locomation expect automated following to scale quickly and more broadly.

The autonomous vehicle will be just as disruptive as the horseless carriage

The future of the autonomous vehicle is now. And I believe that this new generation of vehicle will be as disruptive today as the first horseless carriages were in the horse-and-buggy era.

I know about this topic because I’m an automotive historian, specializing in the 1886-1913 period. I’ve written several articles for collector car magazines. And I’ve read almost every book ever written on how disruptive motorized vehicles were. And I expect this to happen again.

So, fasten your seatbelts because big change is on the way. I believe that in about 20 years non-autonomous cars will be outlawed. If people like me want to drive their classic cars, they’re going to have to put those vehicles on trailers, take them to tracks, and drive them there.

This is happening whether we like it or not – and will drive widespread change

I invested $100 to reserve a…

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