Autonomous cars, also known as driverless cars, robotic cars, or self-driving cars are capable of sensing the environment and navigating with minimum or no human intervention. Technological proliferation is expected to be the key factor driving driverless cars market growth. These vehicles have the capability to alter transportation systems by providing critical mobility to the disabled or the elderly population, avert fatal crashes, increase road capacity, lower emission, reduced driver stress and save fuel. Proliferation of driverless cars is hindered significantly by high cost involved in large scale production, as the technology needed involves new sensors, software and communication and guidance technology, which are considerably expensive. One of the major barriers to driverless cars market is the legal requirement in many countries, which states that all vehicles must have a driver in control at all times. A few states in the U.S. and a few European countries have started issuing licenses to the companies for conducting test on public highways under controlled conditions. Another factor that may restrain the driverless cars market growth is the user awareness and acceptance of self-driving vehicles.
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Autonomous driving technology can also be used across commercial vehicle, creating additional opportunities for driverless cars market growth. Commercialization of these vehicles is expected to take considerable amount of time and initiatives from manufacturers and regulatory bodies. The industry expects gradual introduction of more capable ADAS (Advance Driving Assistance Systems) that may control certain aspects of driving. Advancements in Car-to-X technology that enables communication between different vehicles as well as vehicles and infrastructure is expected to positively impact the driverless cars market growth. The technology also plays a significant role in traffic management. Further, GPS technology is a significant tool for autonomous vehicles assisting in navigation, and is also expected to fuel the driverless cars market over the forecast period.
European automakers such as BMW and Daimler AG are already working on self driving vehicle concept, for instance, BMWs self driving 5 series. However, the absence of any legal framework for autonomous vehicles has affected the market to a certain extent. Companies operating in the market comprise software and hardware providers in addition to manufacturers; notable participants include Continental AG, Delphi Automotive, Freescale Semiconductor, Google, and Intel Corporation.
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