At the end of 2017, the first unmanned subway with independent intellectual property rights in China - Yanfang Line was officially opened to traffic in Beijing. In addition, unmanned buses appeared in the Shenzhen area earlier, and the Beijing Communications Commission also issued relevant guidance documents on driverless testing. These signs all indicate that the era of autonomous driving is coming soon!
Is the era of autopilot really coming?
The current unmanned field is deeply loved by capital, but it is only the peak of the expected expansion period in the process of climbing major technological evolution.
Gartner's technology maturity curve
The greater the expectation, the more apparent the perception of autonomous driving is too simple and ignorant.
Take Volvo as an example:
In 2014, Volvo proposed the self-driving car project, Drive me. In the past few years, some breakthroughs and achievements have been made in technology, and Volvo has begun to set up a Flag for himself. In 2017, Erik Coelingh, Volvo's head of automotive technology, said: This technology will be called Autopilot, drivers don't have to drive in person, and everything is done by self-driving cars. It is also committed to providing 100 self-driving off-road vehicles for families in the Gothenburg area of Sweden.
But, in the final weeks of 2017, Volvo delayed the goal of the 100 self-driving off-road vehicles by four years. Not only Volvo, but in 2012 Google CEO Sergey Brin once said that in five years, autonomous vehicles will become a popular choice.
However, you see, 5 years have passed, and the current fact is not the case. Tesla's Enhanced Autopilot has also been delayed for nearly six months.
Why are you being beaten by time?
Because everyone thinks that it is too good.
According to the Volvo Autopilot project director, during the development of autonomous vehicles, some of the problems that we thought were difficult to answer were quickly resolved unexpectedly during the test. In some areas that we thought were easy to navigate, we found more problems to be explored and solved. Ford Motor's new CEO Jim Hackett recently said in the face of the media: the public's romantic imagination about self-driving cars in the media is a bit overdone. (This is also called the peak of the expected expansion value)
Next, it may usher in a trough of hope and disillusionment, ushered in the most difficult period.
Self-driving cars are still foam
First of all, we must make it clear that safety is always the first consideration. Compared to unmanned subways, there are more factors to consider when driving autonomous cars.
1 Self-driving cars are not as simple as bundling sensors and software on a set of wheels.
Autonomous vehicles require at least three types of sensors: a lidar that presents three-dimensional objects; a camera that acquires detailed information; and a radar that detects distantly. Get the combined information from these sensors, extract what is needed, discard them, and understand human and social habits. (such as giving way for ambulances) This is full of challenges.
This time, you will find that the last 1% is harder than that of 99%. Although it is a small problem, it may cause a catastrophe in practice.
2 User experience is not strong
In addition, due to the expensive research and development costs of self-driving cars, the first way to land is to rent out services. However, due to limited technology, the user experience is not good. There are many other issues, such as policy issues.
3 In the increasingly crowded area of autonomous driving, companies have their own style of play.
Some large companies focus on integrated integration and will adopt acquisition methods; some startups are targeting a single point; and companies are betting on specific groups to share the scribble in the autonomous driving ecology; Traditional car suppliers are still making a fortune.
Whether these strategies work or not is not known. At least, the current technology is unable to support the public's expectations.
Huaqiang Wisdom Network Conclusion
In 2018, the autopilot field will continue to show a thriving scene. This is the optimistic view of the capital market. But after climbing the peak of the expected inflation period, can it withstand the impact of the illusion breaker?
Maybe someone will forget to drive a car in those few years. Although the focus of autonomous driving will not be so high at that time, it is more suitable for research and development. The company that will eventually climb from the bottom of the valley will usher in the peak of development. The prospect of autonomous driving is still optimistic, but this road is long and obstructive.
Therefore, even though the unmanned subway has arrived, the automatic driving in 2018 is still a bubble.