Cost and COVID-19 hit driverless investment, Bosch says
Automakers had already been backing away from investing in higher levels of autonomous technology citing costs as the main barrier to market adoption.
According to automotive supplier giant Bosch, this is now being compounded by growing uncertainty over how the Coronavirus fall-out will affect the ride-sharing, ride-hailing and car-sharing models that many had placed so much hopes in for the future of mobility.
Bosch chairman, Dr Volkmar Denner only spoke of the prospects for autonomous technology during journalists’ questions after delivering a virtual annual press conference statement that did not once mention the company’s comprehensive work in developing the technology for carmaker partners. Denner said: “A lot of partners are suspending investment in to autonomous vehicles preferring to invest in the existing assistance functions and up to Level 2 autonomy. We will have to wait and see until the first Level 3 systems are affordable – that is the real crux of this.”
He stressed that technological solutions are the least of the barriers facing the roll-out of driverless cars to the mass market. Denner explained: “It is technologically feasible but the technology is very sophisticated and we will have to see when prices can be realized that could be the breakthrough. Right now the overall required investment into autonomous driving is still very high but mostly focused on Level 2 and Level 2+ functionality.”
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