Steve Handschuh has a mission. He hopes to hasten U.S. market adoption of autonomous vehicles and usher in an era of greatly reduced traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities.
He's certainly not alone. Most folks in the auto industry can see the promise of self-driving vehicles to deliver safer, smoother, cleaner and less-congested transportation for motorists including those who are elderly, ill and disabled.
We all can see today's reality and a vastly different future. The tricky part is a vision of how to get there. Between here and there, it's a pretty dense forest.
But Handschuh thinks he has a map. As head of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, he commissioned a Boston Consulting Group study that he hopes will show the way to autonomous vehicles.
The route to autonomous driving is through advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS. That's not new. We know the bits and bobs automakers keep adding to aid, warn or assist drivers: things such as rearview cameras, lane-departure warnings and self-parking vehicles.
The road is familiar, too. Yep, add enough ADAS features and you eventually end up with a fully autonomous vehicle that will drive itself to you, take you wherever, wait and bring you back home. We can visualize a finished autonomous vehicle.