Autonomous vehicle reality check: is Level 5 in doubt?

When it comes to autonomy, the industry is wading through ‘the trough of disillusionment’, but confidence remains that autonomy will eventually bring benefits. By Xavier Boucherat

Over the last five years, the prospect of autonomous driving has captured the imaginations of both industry and public. Its immeasurable benefits—from the millions of lives potentially saved on the road, to the revolution in urban planning once car parks cease to be a concern—are the stuff of utopia. Two or three years ago, you would have been forgiven for thinking that all this was just around the corner. The promises from automakers were big, and ambitious: Ford would have thousands of fully autonomous vehicles in operation by 2021, performing a wide variety of applications. Nissan would go one better, bringing full autonomy to the road by 2020.

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