Do you love your RV but hate hauling it around? Whether you’re navigating city traffic in a massive Class A or trying to tow your fifth wheel through a crowded campground, we all have times when we dread driving our homes on wheels.
If you can relate at all, you probably want to know all about self-driving RVs and when they’ll be available to the public. This article explores everything you need to know about the upcoming self-driving RVs and the companies creating them.
Self-Driving RVs Are on the Way
So, are self-driving RVs really going to be available to the public, or are they just an abstract, unobtainable idea? You’ll be glad to know that self-driving RVs are on the way — and some may hit the market as early as 2025.
How Would a Self-Driving RV Work?
Believe it or not, most vehicles sold today have self-driving capabilities. These include automatic emergency braking, lane-centering assist, blind-spot detection, rearview monitoring systems, and more.
Thus, the fully self-driving cars of the future don’t seem that far away. They’ll use all these existing capabilities and a variety of advanced software, sensors, GPS, and cameras to navigate busy roads safely.
Combine these capabilities with an RV platform, and you have a home on wheels designed to take you where you want to go — without having to do the dirty work of driving there.
Hot Take: Are RVs becoming too technologically advanced?
The Benefits of a Self-Driving RV
Some of the benefits of a self-driving RV are obvious. Namely, you won’t have to drive your huge motorhome around the country. Additionally, it could make travel a lot safer. By taking human error out of the equation, self-driving vehicles could prevent countless accidents and collisions and potentially save lives.
However, a less-obvious benefit of self-driving RVs comes down to energy consumption. You see, most of the self-driving RVs currently in development will be fully electric.
Therefore, if these autonomous motorhomes become widely available, they could provide huge benefits for the environment and our wallets.
The Risks of Self-Driving Vehicles
Naturally, the concept of a self-driving vehicle can raise some concerns. After all, it can feel daunting to put so much trust into a machine. You’re giving over your power to a computer and expecting it to take you safely to your next destination.
The current risks of self-driving cars include a false sense of security and, therefore, not stepping in as the driver when you need to. Another is the imperfect technology, as your vehicle might not know how to handle every situation it encounters.
You may have concerns about hackers taking over vehicles and even fire danger from lithium-ion batteries. In fact, self-driving cars are currently involved in more accidents than cars with human drivers, although less severe.
We can only hope (and assume) that the companies at the forefront of self-driving technology will work to minimize these risks before self-driving RVs become available to the public.
Some Companies Are Already Working on Self-Driving RVs
The idea of self-driving RVs is fun in theory, but which companies will develop them? Let’s take a closer look at the four autonomous vehicles in the works.
VW vans are iconic for many reasons, and soon we can add “self-driving” to the list. Volkswagen has recently teamed up with Argo AI to create the first autonomous VW bus, ID. Buzz.
While they intend to develop this self-driving van for commercial ride-hauling, soon adventure-seekers may flock to the dealership to purchase their very first VW bus that they don’t even have to drive. ID. Buzz is poised to be road-ready by 2025.
Are you looking for a futuristic Class A motorhome that can drive you to wherever your heart desires? If so, Hymer is working on making your dreams come true. Concept Galileo is a stylish, self-driving pod that could eventually replace RVs, hotels, and apartments.
One look at this out-of-this-world vehicle and you might think it comes from a science fiction movie. Hymer plans to make Galileo a reality by 2030.
If you follow Tesla’s announcements, you may know that their production of the fully electric Semi Truck is starting to ramp up. But what if we used this technology for things other than long-haul trucks?
A company called Vanlifers has this exact idea and wants to use Tesla’s Semi platform to create a fully electric (and eventually, autonomous) camper van.
If self-driving RVs really become a thing, you’d expect Winnebago to hop on board, right? This is what the research firm, Morningstar, believes.
According to an article by Business Insider, Morningstar analyst David Whiston says, “We would not be surprised if far off in the future, the company greatly expanded its sales in urban markets with autonomous motorhomes for city commuting.”
And with Winnebago’s need for a significant boost in their stock price, Morningstar thinks it would be just the company to partner with. Time will only tell if this comes to fruition.
Are Self-Driving RVs the Future?
While no self-driving RVs are currently on the market, multiple companies have gotten underway on these futuristic models. It’s no secret that RVs and camper vans have soared in popularity, and a self-driving, livable pod could solve many problems in our modern world.
Now we’d love to hear your thoughts on self-driving RVs. Do you think they could change camping for the better? Let us know in the comments below.
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