Autonomous vehicles shift into top gear in annual Hype Cycle

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Excitement around autonomous vehicles has reached “peak hype” as car manufacturers put the technology within the reach of consumers, according to a new report.

Gartner’ annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies maps technological trends on a graph correlating to the perceived hype around them.

This year’s report sees autonomous vehicles attain the dubious honour as the technology gains the vetted interest of car manufacturers, vendors and operators.

[Read more: Sierra Wireless ups offering for Peugeot Citroën connected cars]

Google continues to be a major advocate of the driverless car, while Swisscom unleashed its own hands-free vehicle onto the streets of Zurich in May.

Similarly to last year, the IoT and wearables remain very hyped, while growing momentum around smart home technologies saw the sector enter the “pre-peak” stage of the Hype Cycle.

The past 12 months have seen increased efforts by tech companies to get smart home products into the hands of consumers.

In April, for example, IoT consortium Thread paired up with Zigbee to speed up the standardisation of wireless devices that can be connected in the home.

A recent forecast by Gartner put the number of connected homes by 2020 at somewhere between 500 million and 700 million.

Meanwhile, hybrid cloud computing, augmented reality and crypto currency exchange all bottomed out in what Gartner labelled a “trough of disillusionment”.

Augmented reality could soon join virtual reality on an upswing, however, with big things already expected from Microsoft’s HoloLens device.

Betsy Burton, Vice President of Gartner, said: “As enterprises continue the journey to becoming digital businesses, identifying and employing the right technologies at the right time will be critical.”