Well, fellow humans, we're going to obsolete soon. A new study by IHS Automotive claims that by 2025, a mere 11 years from now, there will be 230,000 self-driving cars on world's roads. 10 years beyond that, the number will swell to 11.8 million, although only select models will do without any traditional means of human control by 2030. By the middle of the 21st century, nearly every vehicle on the road will be of the autonomous variety.

Now, this may only be a study, but it's one that we think may hold some water. Multiple traditional manufacturers are embarking on autonomous-vehicle projects, and they're being joined by the likes of tech giant Google along with any number of major industry suppliers.

As for what these numbers will mean for the industry, IHS is only predicting self-driving cars to make up two-tenths of a percent of sales in 2025, with price premiums of $7,000 to $10,000. By 2035, 9.2-percent of new vehicles sold will be autonomous, as prices are driven down to a mere $3,000 more than a traditionally controlled vehicle.

The effects of self-driving cars on society, meanwhile, will be more mixed. According to the study, 90-percent of traffic deaths are due to driver error, which means we should see a reduction in fatalities once humans are taken out of the equation. The bad news is, humans who drive for a living – whether it be over-the-road truckers or your friendly UPS driver – are likely to be among the first redundancies as autonomous commercial vehicles become more common.

Provided the prices equalize and the technology becomes reliable, would you consider a self-driving or fully autonomous car? Let us know in Comments.


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  • 188 Comments
      Chsutera
      • 11 Months Ago
      As long as it's not mandatory. I love driving and I don't ever plan to give that up.
      mawhalen53
      • 11 Months Ago
      As long as it's not mandatory. The idea at first sounds ridiculous, but every day I see how much congestion is the cause of poor vehicle operators. People follow too closely or drive reactively, going between the throttle and brakes without thinking ahead; drivers get scared with on- and off-ramps and slow down, impacting the entire highway. When there's an accident, we rubberneck and create more traffic. I would be happy to activate 'autopilot' for my daily commute, or when I'm driving long freeway stints. I love my cars, but they aren't built for commuting and it's miserable going on and off the clutch for an hour as I crawl toward the office.
      SloopJohnB
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ups drivers will be riders...someone still needs to put package by door. I don't see drone delivery.
      cooker263
      • 11 Months Ago
      I wonder if they're including the drop in insurance costs as well? If 90% of accidents are due to driver error, that should eliminate much of the risk.
        Spec
        • 11 Months Ago
        @cooker263
        There still will be accidents due to malfunctions, bad programming, freak incidents, bad weather, etc. But as long as the number of accidents are less than the number of accidents with humans driving, it will be a net win.
          Sean
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Spec
          And it would have to be at least an order of magnitude less or the public will freak out, but I think the autonomous cars on the road today are already that good.
          Joeviocoe
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Spec
          The public will freak out regardless. The news media will ensure that
      lleeds1798
      • 11 Months Ago
      What about autonomous trucks, just engines with giant gas tanks crossing the country non-stop to a pre-programmed destination. No drivers, no logs, no rest stops, no speeding trucks. They just move at the speed limit for 24 hours per day going into terminal yards for offloading and refueling. The cost savings will be very significant. Trucks won't have cabs or sleepers but will be nothing more than engines and gas tanks large enough to get the trucks across the country non-stop.
        Swordfish
        • 11 Months Ago
        @lleeds1798
        We already have that. They are called trains.
          paulwesterberg
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Swordfish
          National trucking exists because taxpayer money is used to subsidize roads rather than railways.
          archos
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Swordfish
          Then why do trucks exist? As a jobs program? Your comment makes no sense.
          archos
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Swordfish
          Thats funny considering amtrak is subsidized at the federal and state level. And if trucking is preferred over trains (regardless of the reason) there's a huge benefit in using this in the industry. There would still need to be a driver behind the wheel but if this can operate while they sleep thats still substantial savings.
      Stacey Mason
      • 11 Months Ago
      Oh hell yah! I wish I would live to see this as the norm. I don't see well at night and this would be Godsend. Semis will not have human drivers who are overly tired in them. Blind people and others who have handicaps will be able to have ready transportation.
      aevf101
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'll be graveyard dead by 2050. So I really don't have a dog in the fight. I'm just blessed that I grew up in the "muscle car era". Nothing like big cubic inches, lots of torque, and the capibility to burn the back tires off the car. Now that was fun.
      VIPRLARES
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm ready to buy one of them.
      ppeterdds
      • 11 Months Ago
      This will be wonderful for the elderly or those who are disabled. Can you imagine what it will be like for the blind?
      kajohns1964
      • 11 Months Ago
      My Triumph TR6 won't be one of them.
      Dave
      • 11 Months Ago
      "By 2035, 9.2-percent of new vehicles sold will be autonomous" "Nearly all cars to be autonomous by 2050" It takes ~20 years to replace all the cars on the road. In order to replace all the cars on the road with autonomous ones by 2050, nearly 100% of cars sold in 2030 would have to be autonomous. The headline should read "Nearly all cars SOLD IN 2050 will be autonomous."
        Tara Zieminek
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Dave
        So a few things to consider: 1) People won't be buying as many cars in 2030, because self-driving taxi services will be far, far cheaper and more convenient than owning a private vehicle. 2) Insurance, licensing, and registration costs for the remaining private car owners and manual drivers will skyrocket as governments try to discourage this in favor of the safer self-driving models. (Let's not forget: they will benefit immensely from reduced policing, healthcare, and road costs.) 3) There may be retrofits - cars sold in 2030 could easily be designed to permit future upgrades. 4) People in 2030 may delay car purchases and hang onto their old cars longer (instead of buying a newer non-self-driving model) when they see what's coming. (The same way you might hold onto your old iPhone 3 if the iPhone5 is coming out soon.) Therefore, it's entirely possible that 99% of cars on the road in 2050 could potentially be autonomous.
      Tasha
      • 11 Months Ago
      I would definitely buy a self-driving car and use it for road trips. It'd need to have a manual operating mode, as well, because I actually enjoy driving sometimes. A car like this would mean the world for my brother, who is differently-abled, as he could be more independent. Others who depend on people for transportation could enjoy more freedom of movement, as well.
        Rick
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Tasha
        differently-abled? ...what are you talking about?
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