CityLab has posted a report from this years Consumer Electronics Show and – unsurprisingly – the roll-out of AV’s seems to be focused on shared fleets and they will focus on freight and high occupancy transport. Cost seems to be the largest factor early on with AV technology being cost-prohibitive for individual ownership (although Tesla might have something to say about that). Another reason is simply the ability to monitor and modify cars and algorithms – much easier to do roll-out and testing in limited contact points via larger shared fleets.
This is not to say that shared vehicles are the only future for AV’s – but thier initiation happening as shared vehicles is promising and gives a bit of time to figure out how best to promote and cement that future over individual ownership – probably the most critical issue in avoiding a dystopian future.
Chrysler Portal – Self Driving Car – Jae Hong/AP