Will we be able to ditch the steering wheel in the next few years?

Every auto manufacturer that matters is pushing to bring autonomy to its vehicles in the next few years. Some are hoping to bring fully autonomous cars to the market by the end of the decade, while others are thinking more conservatively and have a somewhat longer timetable. Regardless, at some point in the next 10 to 15 years, there will probably be a car on the market that literally doesn’t have a steering wheel. To date, most of this autonomous technology has been coming from outside sources – think about Tesla and Mobileye, for instance. But, as the push for autonomous cars continues to increase, automakers are bringing more technology development in-house, which could eventually pose a problem for outside suppliers like Mobile Eye.

In order to stay in the game, outside suppliers need to bring innovative new technology to automakers that trumps anything they can do in house. Delphi and Mobileye are hoping to do just that through a joint mission to develop a Level 4/5 automated driving solution. Apparently, this new solution will use key technology from both companies, including Mobile Ee’s EyeQ 4/5 System chip to go with software and controllers from Delphi. According to Mobile Eye, this technology will enable automakers to adopt the next level in automation with needing to invest incredible amounts of capital to get it off the ground.

Kevin Clark, Delphi’s President and CEO, said, “This partnership will allow us to give our customers an increased level of automated capabilities faster and more cost effectively. The collective expertise of our two organizations will accelerate the creation of new approaches and capabilities that would likely not have been possible working alone. This is a win-win for both companies and our customers.”

For the record, Level 4 automation means that a car can drive itself from point A to point B without a driver needing to do much of anything aside from provide a destination. With level 4 automation, however, unfavorable circumstances – like poor weather, for example – will require a driver to take over. Once Delphi and Mobile Eye’s new system can be taken updated to level 5 automation, the car will be able to drive itself regardless of circumstances, meaning car’s at this level won’t need a steering wheel, or pedals.

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Why it Matters

If this system really does become a reality within the next few years, it will represent a huge jump in autonomous technology. See, even though we’ve made huge strides in the technology just recently, we’re still a long way off from 100-percent full autonomy. Some tech companies are even insisting that it could be decades before we’re able to officially ditch the steering wheel in most areas.

Of course, technology seems to change almost every day in one aspect or another, so who knows, maybe it will be next year. For now, we’re just going to ride the waves and see what turns up at the turn of the decade, since 2020 seems to be the year a lot of manufacturers seem to be pushing for the next big jump in technology. Are you ready to ditch the steering wheel and pedals? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Source: Delphi

Image credit: Delphi and MobileEye

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