Autonomous driving: What’s next?

3 min to readFuture mobility
Once the stuff of science fiction, self-driving vehicles could be about to hit the road. Partly spurred on by the global pandemic, the autonomous vehicle (AV) market has accelerated in 2021, with unparalleled levels of investment and technological advancement. In this blog, we’ll be looking at what’s driving the AV industry right now and what you can expect in the coming year and beyond.

Firstly, what is autonomous driving?

To be specific, there are five levels of autonomous driving:

Self-driving regulations

Self-driving certainly sounds good, but is it allowed? Since the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) passed new regulations in January 2021 allowing the use of automated lane keep assist on public roads, governments have been scrambling to pass new AV regulations. Since then, Germany, Japan and the UK have officially approved conditional eyes-off Level 3 AV driving on public roads, with more European countries expected to pass similar legislation in 2022. Germany is expected to become the first country to pass new Level 4 AV laws.

AV around the world

Things are speeding up. Currently, there are countless AV pilots all over the globe, with more and more acquisition deals, partnerships and consortiums by the day. Some recent ones include Amazon’s acquisition of Zoox, Aurora’s purchase of Uber’s AV division, and Toyota’s acquisition of Lyft’s AV division. There’s also the new Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium, comprising leading automakers, chipmakers and suppliers, including ARM, Bosch, Continental, Denso, GM, Toyota, Nvidia, and NXP. While there are similarities, there is also much difference in how countries are approaching AV technology. In Europe, mass mobility seems top-of-mind, with public/private partnerships geared towards developing autonomous shuttles. In China, the focus is on AI, as a leading global developer in that field. US tech giants, meanwhile, are focused on applications such as robotaxis, last-mile deliveries and trucking. In Greece, the beginning was made in Trikala a few years ago with the launch of autonomous moving buses and recently a similar transport system was created in Lamia. The relevant provision that unlocks the use of the autonomous driving system in many cities of Greece must be submitted to the Parliament soon.

autonomous bus 2 1

What's next?

Thanks to rapid technological advances, the development of self-driving cars are being fast-tracked. In fact, the global AV market is predicted to top 1.75 trillion euros by 2030 – that’s 58 million self-driving vehicles on the world’s roads! At LeasePlan, we’re always interested in innovations in the mobility industry and we will continue to monitor trends in the field of autonomous driving.

Sources: Autoevolution: The five levels of autonomous driving explained Gizmo China: Volvo to debut Ride Pilot autonomousdriving feature in California later this year Car & Driver: Mercedes Drive Pilot Level 3Autonomous System to Launch in Germany Here 360: The road to hands-free: automated driving trends for2022 Tech HQ: The state of the autonomous vehicle space heading into2022

Published at April 11, 2022
Was this article helpful?

More about
April 11, 2022

Related articles

Future mobility
Which Car Security systems will be mandatory17 March 2021 - 2 min to readArrowRight
Future mobility
Why autonomous cars will be anything but autonomous...01 December 2018 - 4 min to readArrowRight
Future mobility
Geneva Motor Show 2018: A glimpse of the future through James Patmore’s eyes!01 March 2018 - 2 min to readArrowRight