The study shows that opinions vary on when driverless driving will be widely adopted (Photo: Robert Bosch)

Almost half (48 pc) of Germany's top automotive managers believe that self-driving cars will be widely adopted by 2030 and only 2 pc believe this will happen earlier. Fifteen pc predict 20 years and about one-third (29 pc) foresee that the trend will take 25 years to establish itself.

Those are some of the outcomes of a recent survey by Germany's high-tech association, Bitkom. The survey also found that the industry as a whole is convinced that autonomous cars will come. Only 6 pc of  the executives said they didn't believe in the trend.

"We are at a historic moment in the history of the automobile," Bitkom President Thorsten Dirks said in a press statement. "The vision of networked and autonomous driving, which only a few years ago felt utopian, is within reach and will revolutionize mobility."

Smartphones and cars will, from a technical point of view, become fully integrated, in the views of 92 pc of executives polled, while all of the executives predicted that in-car internet access will play a more important role in the buying decision.

Most executives also were confident that intelligent traffic systems would make driving safer and they believed that vehicle data will play a key role in this process. Hence, 85 pc said they favored a legal requirement to make these data available.