by Anton Shilov
07/10/2013 | 11:25 PM
Many of Google’s projects never get out of beta version and numerous get dumped at the early stages. However, it looks like the company’s self-driving cars project can not only survive, but to bring the firm tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a financial analyst. Unfortunately, self-driving cars are at least seven, or even ten years away.
“While it will likely be 10 years or more before traffic is largely automated, we believe it will be possible to own a self-driving car in the next five years, assuming legality and low cost sensitivity for the owner. We note that GM, BMW, Audi, and Nissan have all made separate comments about the high likelihood of highly automated vehicles by 2020. We believe the Level 3 vehicles, which require some human interaction will become common by the end of the decade, while the Level 4 vehicles, which assume no driver interaction is necessary, will be more common in the middle of next decade,” said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, in a note to clients, reports Tech Trader Daily.
From left to right: Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a self-driving car
According to the market observer, self-driving cars of the sort Google has researched will be one of the next truly game changing mass technologies, and could be an up to $300 billion opportunity. The analyst notes that self-driving cars are already legal in Nevada, California, and Florida, and claims Google is testing upwards of 100 cars in those states. As a result, the company is clearly at the fore-front of the self-driving cars development.
60 million cars were shipped worldwide last year according to the international organization of motor vehicle manufacturers. Every onboard computer capable of driving the car is projected to cost $3000 to $5000 per unit for, which results in $180 – $300 billion annually.
“We believe the combination of higher safety levels and elimination of idle time are a powerful motivator in introducing a self-driving car solution,” said Mr. Munster.