At the beginning of the year I make predictions about how self-driving cars will progress over the coming 12 months. At the end of the year, I score those predictions.
In 2018 that went surprisingly well.
Here is what I think 2019 has in store.
No Level 5 self-driving cars will be deployed anywhere in the world.
Level 4 autonomous vehicles will be on the road, at least in test mode, somewhere in the US.
Deep learning will remain the dominant tool for image classification.
Human drivers will be permitted on all public roads in the US.
No car for sale anywhere in the world will include vehicle-to-traffic-light communication.
C++ will be the dominant programming language for autonomous vehicles.
Autonomous drone delivery will be available commercially somewhere in the world.
Level 4 self-driving cars will be available to the general public (with or without a safety operator) somewhere in the US.
Waymo will have recorded more autonomously-driven miles (all-time) than any other company.
Level 4 vehicles will operate, at least in test mode, without a safety operator, somewhere in the US.
No vehicle available for sale to the general public will come with OEM-installed lidar.
No dominant technique will emerge for urban motion planning.
Level 4 vehicles will be available to the general public somewhere in Europe.
Level 4 vehicles will be available to the general public somewhere in China.
An autonomous shuttle running on public roads will be open to the general public somewhere in the world.
A company will be acquired primarily for its autonomous vehicle capabilities with a valuation above $100M USD.
Grocery delivery via autonomous vehicles, with no safety operator, will be available somewhere in the world.
No Level 4 self-driving cars will be available to the general public, without a safety operator, anywhere in the US.
Tesla will offer the best-performing Advanced Driver Assistance System available to the public.
All publicly available Level 4 vehicles will use lidar.
A member of the public will die in a collision involving a Level 4 autonomous vehicle (including if the autonomous vehicle is not at-fault).
Self-driving cars will be available to the general public somewhere in India.
A Level 3 vehicle will be for sale to the general public somewhere in the world.
Tesla’s full self-driving hardware will include a custom-designed computer.
Amazon will make routine (e.g. non-demonstration) autonomous deliveries using autonomous vehicles.
A company will be acquired primarily for its autonomous vehicle capabilities with a valuation above $1B USD.
Two of the US Big Three and German Big Three (i.e. two of six) will merge.