Autonomous vehicles are a lot further off than many would like to believe, says a man who is perhaps the best known name on Magna International’s new technology council.
“Don’t believe the hype,” says Tony Fadell, inventor of the iPod and founder of Nest, the sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled, learning programmable thermostats.
He recently quit Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and joined Magna’s advisory council in May.
Fadell made the prediction while doing a more extensive interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.
“There are going to be demos, and they’ll get better and better, but to get to the point where you’re going to buy one that can run at a speed that you’re accustomed to—55 miles or 100 kilometres per hour—that’s a lot further off than people are telling you,” he told Businessweek.
He also told the news magazine that 10 years from now, “the car world is going to look pretty similar to what it looks like today.”
“There are new brands, like Tesla and some Chinese brands, that could be challengers,” he said during the interview.
But change isn’t going to happen quickly because it vehicles can’t change and advance as fast as mobile phones, he said.
“Phones get turned over every 18 months. It takes much longer with cars. And with cars, we’re talking about laws changing and police having to adjust to them,” he told Businessweek. “It’s a lot harder than rolling out a 3G network and getting people to change phones.”