The interest to automatic control systems in the field of highway transport increases from year to year. More and more automotive corporations declare their intention to use actively unmanned systems of vehicle control. The President of Cadillac Johan de Nysschen stated at the International conference on technologies, innovations and entrepreneurship Web Summit in Lisbon that the introduction of new technologies, in particular, systems of the autopilot control for cars, marks the death of the traditional automotive industry. "On the one hand, new technologies signify the death of the traditional automotive industry, ― said de Nysschen, — but they also open up new opportunities... as more people are beginning to use transport service, and they will need cars." The proof of GM Company’s intentions, including Cadillac, is the purchase of Super Cruise technology for USD 1 billion. The technology is being developed for autonomous piloting of cars.
Besides GM, many leading world automakers are showing interest to the technology of implementing an autopilot into individual road transport. They are investing in the development and testing of such systems. However, the development of this trend is at the concept stage, and the prospects of their full-scale implementation are not defined precisely at the moment because of numerous factors. The basic ones among them are the common "unfinished condition" of technologies, technological and infrastructure gaps, which force motor manufacturers to opt for fully automated systems. In particular, on October 19, 2016 the Californian Company Tesla Motors announced the termination of using Autopilot system (partial automated control) and the start of fitting their cars with the equipment for a fully autonomous motion.
Such technological trends can dramatically change the layout of individual passenger transport: by passing vehicle control over to automatic systems, the owner becomes a passenger, fully entrusting his safety to motor manufacturers and the developers of the technology. In addition, when driving on public roads there appear a huge number of factors (defects of the roadway, aggressive behavior of other road users, changing weather conditions, etc.) that can turn the vehicle equipped with such systems into a Russian roulette.
Similar technological trends are also characteristic in the field of road cargo transport. For example, the CEO of the Russian Federal Road Agency Roman Starovoyt during a working meeting with the President of the Association "Gruzavtotrans" Vladimir Matyagin expressed an opinion that in the near future drones can replace long-haul truckers and cargo carriers need to prepare for retraining truck drivers. In addition, it is planned to prepare the main Russian highways to the traffic of such transport by 2020.
However, long-haul truckers react to such statements with a substantial dose of skepticism: Valery Voitko, coordinator of the truckers Association stated that it is necessary to distinguish between the research activity and reality. In his view, an unmanned locomotive seems more promising, because it moves along an allocated track, which will "not disappear anywhere".
Under the conditions of the forthcoming global automation individual and freight road transport is inevitably losing all its advantages. It allows other types of transport systems (primarily the SkyWay transport technology) to go out to the priority level of implementation, because the applied engineering solutions from Yunitskiy look the most optimal in comparison with the existing level of development of automated control systems and transport infrastructure.