Lexus VP: Self-Driving Cars Takeover Is 5 Years Away

Developing a fully autonomous vehicle has been seen as the holy grail of the automobile industry. However, in light of the March 18 Uber self-driving car fatal crash in Arizona, widespread adoption isn’t as close as many technology companies would like to admit.

Jeff Bracken, Group Vice President at Lexus, believes that the autonomous car takeover will happen, but it might take as much as a decade, he told Cheddar’s Tim Stenovec at the New York International Autoshow on Wednesday.

“We [at Lexus] don’t feel like autonomous driving will be taking over the automobile industry for probably another five or ten years,” Bracken says. “But there will be some great benefits from the safety standpoint that all [original equipment manufacturer], including ourselves, will realize.”

Bracken’s comments echo a lot of the same safety concerns that have been voiced by consumers and the media alike after the Uber incident. Bracken believes the automobile and technology industries will reach their ultimate goal but it needs to be through the lens of safety instead of focusing on getting the product out as quickly as possible.

Since the Uber incident, the ride-hailing company has halted their self-driving car initiative and one of its executives has recently departed.

See also: Waymo will test self-driving car service in Phoenix this year

While the autonomous car industry is currently reeling, Lexus announced its own take on smart cars with the announcement of its UX Model. The vehicle is retrofitted with Amazon’s Alexa system and is supposed to “get to know you” as you drive.

Due to the safety concern sparked by the Uber crash, we might see auto companies begin focusing on making standard vehicles more technologically advanced rather than focusing all of their efforts on getting an autonomous vehicle onto the streets.