Self-driving cars unlikely to hit roads before 2025

Driverless cars will not be commonplace on our roads even by 2025, according to a new survey by IBM.

Despite rapid innovation within the automotive industry, personalised, cognitive cars are expected to take off within the next decade, not fully automated ones.

Read more: BMW’s new self-driving car won’t let you crash

The survey, titled "Automotive 2025: Industry without borders," was undertaken at this month’s Automotive News World Congress and questioned 175 executives ranging from manufacturers, suppliers and industry thought leaders. The results reveal that just eight per cent believe fully automated cars will be commonplace by 2025, in contrast to the 87 per cent that believe partially automated driving will be the norm.

The majority of respondents believed that by 2025, cars will be able to learn and adapt to the driver, as well as “socialise” with other vehicles.

"While the automotive industry has seen a resurgence in recent years, a new industry identity is emerging—one that is more open, inclusive, and without borders," said Alexander Scheidt, global automotive industry leader for IBM Global Business Services. “By 2025, the industry will not only re-create our highly personalized and digitized lives inside our cars, but also give consumers a bigger role in defining that experience, whether as a driver or passenger."

Vehicles of the future may be able to connect with each other to help diagnose any potential faults, as well as share traffic and weather information.

Despite the scepticism displayed by the IBM survey, a number of high-profile technology and automotive firms are directing a lot of resources at creating a self-driving car. Google and Tesla have both revealed promising developments, while Audi demonstrated a car that could be controlled via smartwatch at the recent Consumer Electronics Show.

Read more: Britons “horrified” by driverless cars

Perhaps the results of IBM's survey demonstratebar a pragmatic approach from some of the industry’s biggest names, or perhaps a fully autonomous car would cause major disruption to their current business models.