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Survey Predicts Steering Wheel, Other Features Will Disappear by 2035

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/14/2014 Conner Golden

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) released a report on the results of a survey into the future of driverless cars, pulling from 200 researchers, academicians, practitioners, university students, society members, and government agencies. The results suggest many of the automobile's defining features will be gone in 20 years.


Respondents were questioned on which standard mass-produced equipment they believe would be eliminated from future cars, and most said rearview mirrors, horns, and emergency brakes will disappear by 2030, while steering wheels and gas/brake pedals will vanish by 2035. Following the mainstream development of this driverless technology, more than 75 percent of survey participants also believe that all 50 U.S. states will pass legislation permitting use of driverless vehicles within this time period.

Those participating in the survey ranked six possible barriers to mass adoption of autonomous vehicles, taking into consideration all possible factors. Of those ranked, legal liability, policymakers, and consumer acceptance were seen as the greatest hindrances, while cost, infrastructure, and technology were viewed as less worrying.

Nissan Smart Review Mirror© Provided by MotorTrend Nissan Smart Review Mirror Manufacturers have already taken big steps toward making this driverless future a reality. Nissan has begun implementing its “Smart” rear-view mirror on certain overseas models. The Smart Rearview Mirror comprises a liftgate- or trunk-installed rear-facing camera, which feeds directly to a wide LCD screen perched where a rearview mirror would usually be found. The Smart Mirror is wider, and provides a large scope of view. On a larger scale, Google has already begun running tests of a fully autonomous car with no steering wheel or pedals, with plans for eventual mass production.

What do you believe to be the biggest problem facing the development of autonomous cars? Do you think cars will still have manual controls in 20 years, or will Skynet do all the driving for us? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: IEEE

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