If you were hoping to be driven around in autonomous shuttles any time soon, you might have to put a pin in that and wait at least a decade before the technology becomes more mainstream, according to ZF boss Wolf-Henning Scheider.
“I’m a little bit more skeptical than some announcements that we’ve heard,” said Scheider. “From our point of view, it will take several more years.”
“Step by step, we will evolve the technology into fully autonomous systems in urban areas, but I wouldn’t expect it before 2030.”
Scheider then added that he thinks a slower approach to implementing this technology might have a positive effect as “people can get used to the shuttles and feel comfortable. Today there’s still a lot of hesitation about using a driverless car.”
Skepticism about how soon we can implement fully self-driving cars on public roads has been shared by other automotive executives too, citing cost, complexity and the need to prove to the public that they are perfectly safe – which is only natural given the incidents we’ve seen in past years.
“We overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles,” stated Ford’s Jim Hackett earlier this spring. Meanwhile, companies such as Waymo and Uber have also slowed things down on that front, which means ZF’s new timeline for the public roll-out of driverless robotaxis is probably a realistic one.