Fully autonomous cars will account for half of all UK new car sales in 25 years, with increasing degrees of autonomy ranging from cruise control to partial self-drive automation adding to traditional vehicles and over eight million connected cars on the roads able to communicate with each other and the surrounding infrastructure.
That’s according to a new study by Kia Motors (UK), which commissioned the report to celebrate its 25th anniversary in the UK, and claims it is a first-of-its-kind investigation looking at the predicted motoring industry over the next 25 years.
The report, Transformation: The Future of Driving to 2041, covers new technologies, the role of connectivity in cars of the future and wider infrastructure and regulation.
Whilst autonomous cars rise in popularity, there will be a huge overhaul of the infrastructure designed to accommodate a mixture of autonomous cars, connected cars and traditional vehicles, it is suggested.
In 25 years autonomous cars will have their own lanes on motorways and will, under certain conditions, be able to ‘communicate’ with the road to identify obstacles, travel delays and even potholes, it is suggested.
The report suggests that with level four autonomy (cars that are completely self-driving with no need for human input at all) parking fines will be almost eliminated as cars will be able to drop off their passengers before finding a suitable space, whilst insurance premiums for road traffic accidents are likely to be almost obsolete with cars able to avoid collisions through communication with each other. With cars able to transport themselves between locations there is also likely to be an increase in car sharing and the driving test process will also be overhauled - drivers will still need a license for partially autonomous cars, but fully self-driving vehicles will allow those who are unable to drive for reasons such as disability a freedom previously denied to them as no human intervention will be required.