Still, Ernst & Young predicts truly autonomous vehicles are farther in the distance, saying drivers will remain in control of their vehicles the majority of the time they're behind the wheel. The firm instead predicts the adoption will be limited to controlled areas, such as parking garages. Valsan said he envisions structures where the cars park themselves, while drivers wait outside for their vehicle.
"I could see a public garage where the driver doesn't need to be in their car when parking it," he said. "You could have people touching a few buttons on their phone and then waiting for their car to start up and come down to the exit without a driver behind the wheel."
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Valsan also mentioned the possibility of dedicated highway lanes for autonomous drive vehicles, where the driver does little to steer or accelerate the car. Another option: Urban centers where driverless cars shuttle people from point to point.