As a parent, the promise of autonomous vehicles has tremendous appeal because it ultimately means our roads will be safer. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait a while. Recent reports project only 10% of the 1.8 billion cars in the world in 2030 will be autonomous. That leaves 90% of the cars without autonomous features — more than 1.6B in total — 15 years from now.
Full autonomy aside, tech in cars is quickly left behind with the rapid pace of new technology. This is due to the industry’s 6-7 year design cycle, initial positioning of new technology in higher-end cars and how relatively few new cars are produced and bought every year. For example, new features, from airbags to antilock brakes, took 30-40 years to reach widespread adoption.
Should we really be waiting this long for important safety features? Why not create aftermarket products that can help every driver on the road today? Features such as the backup camera, blind spot warning and forward collision warning have clear benefits that are just too important to limit to new cars. Cars on the road today can and should be made better.
At Pearl, we’re on a mission to bring these important safety features directly to the consumer, starting with a backup camera. Pearl RearVision is unlike anything on the market today. It’s the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes, provides obstacle alerts, uses your iPhone or Android as your rearview screen and updates automatically to ensure you always have the latest technology.
For me personally, what has really fueled my passion working in this space are my twin 6-year old boys, Jackson and Wyatt. In ten years they will start driving — likely with the hand-me-down family car we’ll buy in the next couple of years — and while that car will certainly be safer than the car you and I grew up with, it will be far from the promise of the autonomous future.
What’s really hard to comprehend is that the technology that exists even today won’t be in that car in ten years. Putting that time scale into perspective: ten years ago the iPhone didn’t exist. The car my kids will drive in ten years, along with the vast majority of cars on the road, won’t have technology that’s available today. For me as a father that’s completely broken and not acceptable. At Pearl, we’re on a mission to have a substantial impact on the future of automotive by providing important safety features through the aftermarket.