Self-Driving Cars are of High Cost, Have Limited Appeal, says Volkswagen


It will take another five years for fully autonomous vehicles to be perfected. Along with that, the complexity of rising the new technology globally serves to undermine its appeal as the commercial vehicles head of Volkswagen stated.

High-tech infrastructure, too much expensive radar and lidar systems along with its costly deals with the cloud mapping and computing providers are the requirements of Autonomous cars, Thomas Sedran of Volkswagen told the Reuters at Geneva motor show.

To reach higher levels of autonomy, it will take at least five years more to build the technology. Sedran said that there are no justifications for the overhead for this period for any business and it is too expensive.

Thomas Sedran is in charge of Volkswagen’s free strategy of commercial vehicles evaluation where it can be beneficial to have last-mile delivery services from driverless vans. Technology companies and the auto industry like Uber and Google have spent billions of dollars developing cars that are driverless, to lower the cost of delivery services.

The complexity of solving the problem of developing completely driverless vehicles is similar to a human-crewed mission to Mars according to Sedran. A Level 5 automation technological sophistication is required. He explained that globally Level 5 would never happen. The latest generation of mobile infrastructure will be needed everywhere along with high definition digital maps which require a continuous update. Road markings have to be near-perfect also.

It can happen in a few cities around the globe. Even if it does, the technology will require ideal weather conditions to work properly. If heavy rains make large puddles in the rain, those situations call for the intervention of a driver.

Talks are in progress between Volkswagen and Ford about a prominent collaboration on autonomous vehicles. But two companies have yet to agree on how much Volkswagen will invest in Ford’s self-driving car operations.


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