If you begin to think about the future of driving and autonomous vehicles, the thoughts can turn romantic. Imagine being able to take in all of the sights along the way and know that the car has you safely in place to make sure you don’t end up in an accident. For those of us who aren’t fond of the daily driving duties we have to handle, this is certainly an attractive way for us to enjoy the ride and get where we need to go on a daily basis, but there might be a roadblock or two along the way.
Right now, thirteen of the top fourteen automakers in the world have stated they will have a fully autonomous vehicle on the road in the next five years while twelve of the largest tech companies are working to help create the technology platforms for these vehicles. Because the combined efforts between automakers and technology companies are already in the billions of dollars, the development of what’s needed in order to have autonomous vehicles on the road is extremely important. There is one massive roadblock that could keep the automotive world from moving forward and it can be cloaked in a couple of different ways.
What Roadblock May Lie Ahead?
The roadblock that companies will face is pride. This pride may be cloaked in the appearance of patents, but the reality is the space that’s needed for autonomous vehicles to not only function properly but communicates with each other will need to be discovered and entered into collaboratively. This means that each company will likely need to operate on the same systems in order to offer the communication between vehicles and on the roads that will make autonomous driving a reality, not just a romantic thought that was once a possibility.
Over the years this pride has become a source of a serious stoppage of many different aspects of technology. The main smartphone companies, Apple and Samsung, have been suing and countersuing each other for years over the last few years regarding the patents they have filed and because of this, the actual development of smartphones has slowed down. Some of the aspects have continued to evolve and the apps offered are part of what we can use. Because of this, the smartphones we use today are similar to the ones from ten years ago in many ways when you look at these two companies.
Hopefully, the automotive and technology sectors will get over their patent pride and learn to work collaboratively to avoid a roadblock. Imagine the possibilities if, instead of working separately on the different parts of this technology, the companies all worked together to create one massive system that can be used in nearly every vehicle that’s on the road. This could be an amazing development that will make it possible for us to have autonomous vehicles in the future that will allow us the benefit of a system we can all trust. Will this ever happen? Probably not, but if we can romanticize about the ride, we can romanticize about the process as well.