Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), especially Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs), have created a huge buzz over the last few years. An SAV is the transformative AV type that has the potential to revolutionize personal mobility and reduce the need, or desire, for people to own a car. We expect that SAVs will, in the end, achieve this outcome, but the industry appears to be aligning with our view that the race towards widespread AV provision is a marathon, not a sprint.
It is not quite true that all dreamers have abandoned hope of imminent upheaval. But the scale of the task of deploying commercially, safely and workably on a large scale has caused more than a pause for thought for those involved in developing AVs. A recent statement from the CEO of Ford indicated that there is still much to be done and it will likely take many years to launch in significant numbers, beyond test-status deployments. Others have also shied away from firm near-term commitments. OEMs, tier-one suppliers and autonomous technology leaders have started to form larger alliances in order to share the risk of delay and large development costs.