Bosch says autonomous vehicles are ready, but faces non-technical hurdles like sceptics and regulations

Bosch has come out saying that the delay with introducing autonomous vehicles is due to a “jungle of red tape” and a wave of consumer scepticism, other than technological limitations of the systems, Autocar reports.

Company senior vice president of automated driving, Kay Stepper told the publication that its engineers have already cleared the technological hurdles. “We need to differentiate between technical and non-technical problems. At the moment we can honestly say from the technological, hardware and software sides that we have what we need to roll out [autonomous technology] tomorrow. It’s here. Yes, we have much more testing and validation to do and more refinement to do, but we’re there.”

Despite the advancements, no autonomous vehicles are commercially available in 2020. “The major obstacles are the non-technical ones, like the regulatory framework in different regions. It’s very different in Europe than in China or the US, and that will very much impact the timing of the roll-out.” He added that American lawmakers are more favourable with the technology compared to others.

Bosch says autonomous vehicles are ready, but faces non-technical hurdles like sceptics and regulations

Consumer acceptance is probably one of the biggest hurdle that players in the field are required to tackle. “I’m excited about autonomous driving, and many of our customers are, but not everyone is. There’s a good level of animosity in parts of the population. Some have a hard time accepting this as an everyday reality.”

As for a timeline, the VP believes that self-driving cars will only hit the road by 2025, but even then they won’t be ubiquitous. However, he did say ride-hailing services and commercial haulage are two likelier adopters of the technology.

Compared to a conventional car, it’s going to take more time and convincing to sell a car without a steering wheel and pedals to customers. Stepper believes the industry will get there, but pointed out that Bosch’s goal is not to make driving illegal. If you wish to understand the levels of automation, you may read our detailed report, here.