The automobile industry is on the brink of a revolution as it prepares to roll out self-driving cars, and the timing might be sooner than most people think, according to a new report from KPMG LLP and the Center for Automotive Research.
The new technology could help solve a range of social problems, such as the high cost of traffic crashes, hours wasted in traffic jams and wasted urban space devoted to parking lots.
"For those who embrace innovation and opt to lead rather than follow, a new frontier is opening in the realm of mobility services," Richard Wallace, the center's director of transportation systems and report co-author, said in a press statement. "Some may ask if it is still just science fiction or if the market will accept them and pay for them. We think the answer is a resounding yes -- the marketplace will not merely accept self-driving vehicles, it will be the engine pulling the auto industry forward."
Prototypes from Google have already hit the roads, but the car insurance industry has only begun to consider the issues that self-driving cars will create, such as who is at fault when a driverless car crashes.
Automotive and technology companies are already investing in technologies and applications for self-driving vehicles. No company is yet a clear leader, but nontraditional firms will pay a significant role , according to the report.