The future of driverless cars

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Kirk Steudle, the director of Michigan DOT, argues that driverless cars will dominate the roads by 2034. “Some major thoroughfares will only allow automated cars,” he believes. “Conventional driving machines could still be allowed on some roads, but not in the corridors of commerce.”

Peter Sweatman, director of U-M’s Transportation Research Institute, says that in 20 years driverless cars will have ushered in a new era of productivity. “As we move toward a mobility system that includes driverless, shared and on-demand mobility machines, we will see an unprecedented positive effect on personal and industrial productivity,” he suggests.

GM’s Dan Flores, meanwhile, has no doubt that driverless cars are the future, but he is less confident that they will dominate in 20 years’ time. “We will be closer to a fully automated car by 2034, but we think it will take a little longer,” he reveals. “It’s not just the technology that will determine when they are prevalent. Other societal factors will come into play, such as driver acceptance, regulations, liability and insurance.”

FOR MORE FROM THESE EXPERTS ON THE FUTURE OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES SEE THE “REBIRTH OF MOTOR CITY” FEATURE IN THE AUGUST/SEPTEMBER EDITION OF TRAFFIC TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

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