Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW)
Authors: Wolfgang Kröger et al.
Main themes: autonomous mobility
Nature of publication: factsheet
English abstract (150 to 200 words): The future aim of highly and fully automated vehicles with corresponding drive systems is to free drivers from often tedious tasks, eliminate them as a source of danger, and make more efficient use of infrastructure. They require an almost unimaginably high level of digitalisation, artificial intelligence usage and innovative networking to enable extremely complex systems to emerge. Autonomous vehicles are currently at an early stage of development, planning or even testing. Details of initial authorisations and commercial availability are still far off: sceptics dismiss this as just hype, proponents talk about it soon becoming a reality. This is supported by billions in investment from large countries such as the USA, China, and Germany, as well as gigantic technology and service conglomerates such as Alphabet-Waymo, Uber and leading automobile manufacturers. A realistic timeframe seems to be 20 years until highly automated vehicles penetrate the market, with at least 40 years for fully automated versions. Autonomous shuttles, taxi fleets, computer-guided lorry convoys and traffic on the outskirts of major cities will most likely lead the charge. The small brochure provides a detailed overview of the current challenges on a technical, legal, environmental, and social level, and shows some potential benefits.