Autonomous vehicles seems like they are about to change the way consumers move around in everyday life. However, self-driving cars might be much further off than we hope. What could be an industry worth billions continues to run into legal, governmental, technological, and other issues.
Ten years into the race to build self-driving cars, many developers, analysts and even venture capital firms say robot cars won't go mainstream for another decade or more. Meanwhile, American consumers and lawmakers remain leery of self-driving cars that Alphabet's Waymo, Uber, General Motors, Ford Motor, and Tesla are all launching.
"What car companies are doing is learning about customer experience around these vehicles and trying to develop business models that will be viable," said Navigant Research analyst Sam Abuelsamid. "But the reality is general consumers are not going to be buying automated vehicles in the foreseeable future. It's going to take a lot longer than people anticipate."
And that's despite the industry pouring billions more into the technology. In fact, investments in self-driving cars surged from $6 billion in 2015 to more than $60 billion in 2018.
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