We can’t ponder the “what” of driverless cars without also considering the “when.” When will we have access to these driverless cars and when will they be the predominant form of transportation? It is hard to find a news article on this topic that doesn’t include some prediction on one of these questions. This article specifically looks at the first question: when will we have access to driverless cars? The second question is explored here.
The best way to explore this question is to go to the source, which, in this case, is the companies developing the technology. Their predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt of course. What they say is colored by ulterior motives. They also don’t control the government, which will need to legalize the technology. Nonetheless, collectively the companies developing driverless car technology provide the clearest view of when the technology will be commercially available.
The chart below captures when companies anticipate releasing driverless car technology to the public. That said, there are a couple caveats to be aware of. First, not all companies broadcast their release dates so some dates are based on estimates by the media and others. Also, not all companies are clear on the level of autonomy they are referring to, so I’ve had to infer in some cases.