By Sarfaraz A. Khan. Research Asst. Adnan Mushtaq
Self-driving cars have captured the imagination of Hollywood for decades, but it could become a reality in the next five years, said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com, in an email interview.
This new technology is being spearheaded not only by automakers, but also Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Earlier in December, the company said that it has developed its first complete prototype of a driver-less car. According to the project's director, Chris Urmson, the commercialization of such vehicles will begin around between 2017 and 2020. Google plans to participate in the upcoming Automotive News World Congress scheduled for January 13-15 to showcase the vehicle to prominent auto manufacturers.
Automakers, on the other hand, have also been working on developing their own autonomous driving systems. Tesla has worked with Google on the system but said that it was too expensive. The electronic car marker's D series of its iconic Model S vehicle features a semi-autonomous system. The company plans to launch its fully autonomous vehicle by 2023. During an interview with Bloomberg, Tesla's Elon Musk said that the company is targeting a driving experience "where you could literally get in the car, go to sleep and wake up at your destination."
Meanwhile, General Motors could start giving semi-autonomous driving feature, called super cruise, in its Cadillac by as early as 2016. Other automakers, such as Nissan's Infiniti and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz have already been offering some forms of limited autonomous driving systems.