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The Road to Automobility

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AVEP11_03
Published 2019-11-01 by SAE International in United States
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  • English

The era of electrified, self-driving vehicles is upon us. Engineers are key to the transformation - with much hard work still to be done.

In 1911, eight years after the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane, French general Ferdinand Foch dismissed the new technology. “Airplanes are interesting scientific toys,” he scoffed, “but they are of no military value.” World War I and the wave of aeronautical progress it triggered would prove Foch wrong. Today, automobility is the subject of a “hype or ripe” debate similar in spirit to what the airplane experienced in its nascent years.

Will automobility - transportation services based on autonomous electric vehicles - replace personal car ownership? Or is all the talk of this new era just so much hype? It's a critical question for businesses that will be disrupted by driverless cars, and for investors.