A new report by Navigant Research shows that by 2035, there could be as many as 95.4 million driverless cars cruising roads across the globe. That is roughly 35 million more cars than are currently produced each year, according to The Motherboard, and doesn’t account for “normal” or used cars that will still be sold each year.
Currently roughly 60 million cars are produced each year on an already crowded, over-polluted planet, but Navigant expects to see around 130 million cars sold per annum by 2035 as more people are able to afford them. Many of these buyers will be in China, and driverless vehicles with systems produced by Google and other firms are thought to be the vehicles that buyers will most covet.
This prediction hinges less on technology than on legislation. Currently much of the technology required to make autonomous driving safe and widely applicable already exists including auto-braking and auto correction. But the legislation necessary is trickier. Florida and Nevada already welcome driverless vehicles, and California has made it legal to test them, but other states and countries will have to approve them as well. And then there’s the issue of insurance.
“Who’s liable, after all, when two driverless cars piloted by software engineered for major corporations crash into each other?” writes the Motherboard.
It’s hard to imagine even more cars on the road, and more soot, unless all driverless vehicles are electric and powered by renewable energy, when climate change is already on the verge of being completely irreversible. Wouldn’t it be great to build Hyperloops instead? We can dream.
Via The Motherboard