PA Consulting’s transport expert, Charlie Henderson, discusses the expected timeline of driverless cars and Uber's decision to sell its unit.
There are growing concerns that widespread use of driverless cars is slipping further away and development may no longer be financially viable after Uber sold its autonomous vehicle division.
Transportation experts have warned that continued investment of millions of pounds on developing the technology makes less financial sense to carmakers which have seen a severe drop in sales during the coronavirus pandemic.
Charlie says: “People have started to realise that it's not as easy as they thought it was. We're seeing a rebalancing of expectations around when autonomous vehicles are going to come to the market.”
Uber announced on Monday that it had agreed a deal to sell its driverless car division and abandoned plans to build its own autonomous cars.
It sold its Advanced Technologies Group division to US start-up Aurora in exchange for a minority stake in the business.
Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess said last week that he expects driverless cars to be ready to go on sale between 2025 and 2030, although experts warn that carmakers may be souring on the high cost of developing the vehicles.
Charlie adds: “It's not burning a few million and then you build a car, it's hundreds if not billions by the time you get it to the market. At the moment I still struggle to see who is actually going to buy an autonomous vehicle.”