The research carried out worldwide on intelligent vehicles
-after its first explorative stage-
has now reached its second stage: many different approaches have been
evaluated during these years
and the most promising ones are being engineerized, installed on
prototype vehicles, and extensively tested on the road.
However, a long period of exhaustive tests and refinement must precede the availability of these systems on the general market, and a fully automated highway system with intelligent vehicles driving and exchanging information is not expected for a couple of decades. For the time being, complete automation will be restricted to special infrastructures such as industrial applications or public transportation. Then, automatic vehicle technology will be gradually extended to other key transportation areas such as the transportation of goods, for example on expensive trucks, where the cost of an autopilot is negligible with respect to the cost of the vehicle itself and the service it provides. Finally, once technology has been stabilised and after freezing the most promising solutions and the best algorithms, a massive integration and a widespread use of such systems will also take place with private vehicles, but this will not happen for another two or more decades.
So, it's a bit too early to be looking for autonomous vehicles in your automobile dealers' showrooms.