Self-driving cars may not be a widespread reality for years, but the potential is 'great'

Key Points
  • Driverless cars could have a big impact on the way people live and get around when they finally take off,  said Grace Liu, the co-chief of Fosun RZ Capital.
  • There's huge potential in autonomous driving — even if it's not likely to become a widespread reality for years to come, she told CNBC at the East Tech West conference on Wednesday.
VIDEO4:2204:22
Autonomous driving could be viable in 'all scenarios' in 10 years: Co-CEO

There's huge potential in autonomous driving — even if it's not likely to become a widespread reality for years to come, according to an executive of Chinese venture capital fund Fosun RZ Capital.

Driverless cars could have a big impact on the way people live and get around when they finally take off, Grace Liu, the co-chief of Fosun RZ Capital told CNBC's East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China on Wednesday.

"For autonomous driving to come true for all scenarios, all conditions, it will be difficult — maybe 5 to 10 years," Liu told CNBC's Deirdre Bosa.

But she said the industry had "big potential," with companies like Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo already able to provide such services from point to point.

"Autonomous driving is a big market. Once it comes true, it will affect many people's lives. It will affect our way of transportation. So I think it's still great potential," Liu said.

FCA delivers 100 uniquely-built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) for their self-driving test fleet.
Source: FCA

2020 outlook

Venture capital investment in China fell significantly in the first three quarters of 2019 compared to the year prior, with only two deals above the $1 billion mark, according to a report from KPMG.

Asked about the outlook for China's venture capital market in 2020, Liu said she expected to see a pick up.

"I think the VC industry is still at it's early stage currently. So it will (run) through its ups and downs," she said. "In 2020, I would expect the market to grow from this year. I don't think it will still (stay) at the very low stage level."

— CNBC's William Feuer, Lora Kolodny and Arjun Kharpal contributed to this story.