2. Semi-autonomous car platform decisions
Itís official. Both Nissan and Daimler made a public commitment this year, promising to roll out self-driving cars in 2020. Next year will be crucial to determine the underlying platform for semi-autonomous cars, which will eventually lead to self-driving designs.
You might say that 2020 for self-driving cars sounds too ambitious.
But the wheels are already turning, and thereís no turning back. Automotive OEMs and tier-ones are flocking to the Wild Wide West of autonomous cars.
In order to meet their self-imposed 2020 deadline, carmakers must be ready with actual self-driving cars by 2017, since they need to put them on the road for testing.
Itís important to note that most car OEMs are already eager to embrace advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). ADAS features include lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance systems and automatic parking.
ADAS-featured cars are considered ďsemi-autonomous.Ē They shouldnít be confused with self-driving cars, since ADAS still expects drivers to be at the wheel.
But the semi-autonomous platform will become the basis for self-driving, according to Davide Santo, Freescale's ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) microcontroller product line manager.
For anyone hoping to participate in the self-driving future, the second half of 2014 marks a sort of consensus deadline for leading car OEMs to make final decisions on architecture and technologies for semi-autonomous platforms.