AutoTech US 2024 Recap and Industry Thoughts - Insights from our Director Sales, Americas

Wow! What a week it was in the motor city after a jam packed week at the AutoTech event! It was an exciting week filled with great learnings, meetings and getting feedback from industry leaders on the state of the mobility space and what could come next as we inch closer to the promise of life changing technology!

Some thoughts and observations from the week:

It remains clear that companies both large and small continue to make deep investments in the space with the goal is to improve safety, reduce accidents caused by human error, and provide mobility solutions for those unable to drive themselves. While fully autonomous vehicles are likely a  few years away from widespread adoption (still), the next 18 months will see significant strides in both ADAS and self-driving capabilities, bringing us closer to a future of safer and more efficient transportation.

So what’s next in the market both near term and farther out?

Enhanced Safety with Advanced ADAS Features:

Sensor fusion will be at the forefront, combining data from cameras, radar, and LiDAR to create a more comprehensive understanding of the world which translates to improved object detection, tracking, and response times, leading to fewer collisions and near misses.

Keeping systems that not only prevent you from drifting but also keep your car perfectly centered, reducing the stress of highway driving. Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems will become even more sophisticated, better at identifying potential hazards like pedestrians and cyclists, allowing for quicker and more precise automatic interventions.

Lane changing and other ‘mundane’ actions will be with improved systems that provide accurate and timely outputs from the vehicle. And for long stretches on the open road, in-cabin cameras and sensors will monitor driver fatigue and attentiveness, taking corrective action or issuing alerts when necessary that will ensure rider safety.

The Path to Autonomy:

The testing grounds for self-driving cars will continue to expand at a steady pace. Major automakers and tech companies will be putting their AVs through their paces, with greater rigor, in a wider range of cities and environments, collecting valuable data and refining their technology. Recent events have pushed the industry to be cautiously optimistic, but believe the slower approach to production will only benefit the industry in the long term. This real-world testing is crucial for building confidence and paving the way for wider adoption.

Now the good stuff! Under the “hood”, advancements in ML and AI will propel AVs forward. There are new breakthroughs almost on a daily basis and improved perception capabilities will allow them to "see" the world in greater detail, like we do as humans, while enhanced decision-making algorithms will equip them to navigate complex situations with greater confidence making operation much safer.

The initial commercialization of AV technology has been highly focused on ridesharing and delivery services. Companies like Waymo and Cruise will continue to launch limited services in select cities, offering a glimpse into the future of transportation, while Tesla will look to make a major step in the coming weeks to fulfill the vision that was laid out many years ago by its leader. The one thing I can say is that one of the only constants in this space is…change. And it’s happening faster than ever.

The ultimate goal is clear. Create a safer and more accessible transportation ecosystem. By reducing accidents caused by human error and providing mobility solutions for those who can't drive themselves, autonomous vehicles have the potential to revolutionize the way we travel. While widespread adoption of fully autonomous cars is still (at best) a few  years down the road, the next 18 months will be a period of significant progress, bringing us closer to a future where driving is less stressful and our roads are safer for everyone and gives humans the most coveted time back to them….time.