When will autonomous transit be a reality?

Authorities will have to introduce strict regulations to ensure the safe introduction of autonomous vehicles on public roads, says 2getthere, a company specializing in autonomous transit systems.

2getthere Grt Vehicle

It is becoming common for autonomous vehicles to leave their testing facilities in favor of public roads. Unfortunately, this also leads to an increase in the number of accidents. In order to guarantee passenger safety, governments will have to set stricter requirements for manufacturers of autonomous vehicles. More concretely, this means that a level of safety will have to be defined which manufacturers must be able to guarantee--both on paper and in practical tests. Designs should be tested for road safety by independent assessors, who should be tasked with the assessment of public areas and transit situation in which autonomous vehicles will be operated. 

A call for stricter regulations will most likely result in a shakeout in the supply side of the market, says 2getthere’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Robbert Lohmann: "In this whitepaper, we conclude that the industry is a long way away from making autonomous vehicles that are as safe in mixed traffic as, for instance, city buses with professional drivers. We believe it remains to be seen if all manufacturers currently in the market have the commitment for the long haul, or the knowledge and expertise to take the necessary steps."