#3When will automated driving be realized? What are obstacles?
When we talk about automated driving, people always ask, ‘when can we ride an automated car?’
Technically speaking, we can say it has almost been realized. Level 1 & 2 technologies are widely adapted to cars in the market, and even Level 3 is reaching the level usable in the cars on the road.
However, to implement automated driving, technological progress alone isn’t enough. In addition to maturity of technology, social acceptance is also essential.
On one hand, there may be no small number of people, who experienced Level 1 or 2 automated driving in the car, and felt that it was still too early to hand over even a part of driving tasks to vehicles with full trust. On the other hand, as in Automated emergency braking, even though it may not work just as the driver intends, it may be accepted very soon once people recognize that it contributes to convenience, comfort and safety of driving depending on conditions.
The problem is, to fill the gap of awareness. In the first place, the car itself becomes a dangerous tool when you make a mistake in driving. But if you drive safely, it gives you great convenience. Driving a car can provide us with joy unparalleled with anything. If we can expand areas where you can safely enjoy automated driving in more scenes in your life, the value of automobiles as a product should be raised even more.
Development of laws will progress as the social acceptance grows. Premature implementation may create problems, but laws will be organized when the society wants it and the timing is judged to be right.
Level 5 driverless driving will be realized as a totally different category from automated driving for passenger cars. It may take a form of a taxi without a driver.
The Level 4 automated driving, which incorporates a certain restriction into Level 5, may be achievable as soon as in 2020. Introduction of Level 4 is expected in a designated area where safety is ensured by prohibiting general pedestrians and vehicles from entering the area. Another way of implementation is to start it from the speed of 5kph or so, identify problems, and improve them.
As the problems are solved, add the speed little by little.If social acceptance can be gained gradually, there seems to be enough possibility.