Here are four items I took away from the 2019 event:
1. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are coming, but not as quickly as once predicted - AVs are receiving a lot of buzz in the media. The fact is several major OEMs have committed to their development. Wayne Powell of Toyota stated it’s his company’s moral obligation to make vehicles that “Don’t hit anything, don’t get hit, and don’t run off the road.”
Yes, the industry is working to develop the tech needed to make cars reliably and safely drive themselves. But it seems the introduction and adoption of vehicles with autonomous tech might still be a way off. At the 2018 conference, I sensed many experts were thinking two to three years. At this year’s event, that sense was more like five to 10 years.
In his presentation, for instance, Farid Khairallah of ZF outlined the variety of technologies — sensors, actuators, and computers — that need much more development work before they can meet or exceed the competence of a human driver. This work is happening, but it won’t be finished overnight.