Hyundai Are We There Yet? Exploring the (Near) Future of Driving
From fantastic to pragmatic, visions for autonomous vehicles (AVs) have existed for decades. And, while the driverless car is closer than ever, it’s not here yet. The technology is maturing rapidly; automakers are promising first-generation AVs by 2020—and studies suggest mainstream availability may occur by 2030. Given what’s at stake—over 30,000 automobile deaths per year, increasing density, debilitating traffic, lost productivity, an aging population and much more—this new paradigm for human mobility can’t arrive soon enough.
And yet, the gap between now and then is an eternity in technology years. Over the next decade, we anticipate the continued emergence of semiautonomous vehicles (SAVs)—which will be characterized by increasingly sophisticated capabilities and the persistence of manual controls (e.g. steering wheel, brake pedal, etc). Unlike AVs, these cars will require engaged human drivers to monitor the system and assume control under conditions when the car can’t drive itself.
Ideally, SAVs promise to preserve aspects of driving as we know it, liberate us from the tedium of traffic and commuting, and deliver gains in safety and efficiency. On the other hand, increasing reliance on automation will likely make us worse drivers, exacerbating the very problems the technology seeks to remedy and creating a range a new, complex design problems.
We partnered with Hyundai to explore these questions, and to envision potential solutions in the context of a near-term, semiautonomous vehicle.