ANN ARBOR, MI – The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and tax and audit firm KPMG have released a study that discusses where autonomous vehicle technology is at currently and how this technology could change the automotive landscape even sooner than many expect.

You can view the PDF of the report here.

CAR and KPMG said the report’s findings are based on interviews with technologists, automotive industry leaders, academicians, regulators, and on industry trend analysis. Some of the factors the report outlines that are driving the trend toward autonomous vehicle technology include less space on roads globally, and less space to build roads, a younger, digitally inclined generation, the toll on people and societies from accidents caused by driver error, and the sheer amount of productive time lost due to sitting in traffic (for example, the average American commuter spends 250 hours a year behind the wheel of a vehicle, the report states).

In terms of advances toward self-driving cars, the report notes that Google has an autonomous vehicle fleet that has already logged more than 200,000 miles on U.S. roads. It also notes that automotive, high-tech companies, and the U.S. Department of Transportation are focusing on the potential to use connected-vehicle communication technologies for collision avoidance and traffic management.

The report goes on to describe the current state of self-driving vehicle technologies, outlines possible scenarios for autonomous vehicle adoption, and provides commentary on developing a legal framework to deal with the changes widespread adoption of these vehicles would cause.