Are Driverless Cars the Future?

4th September 2014

BMW recently demonstrated a driverless car that can drift around bends and negotiate around cones.

A decade ago, this would have been astounding; today however, driverless cars are becoming more of a reality. The 2 series coupe was seen at the International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, and is part of a growing movement towards driverless cars. In fact, in July this year, it was announced that driverless cars would be allowed on UK roads from January 2015. So, does this mean that we will all soon be driven to work in robotic cars? Well, probably not, the technology and affordability that would make a driverless car a feasible option is still some time off. What’s more, before driverless cars can become the norm on our roads, current road traffic laws need to be adapted. Another potential obstacle is the issue around car insurance. In a driverless car who is at fault in an accident? The driver who was not driving? The car itself or the manufacturer? The other aspect of driverless cars that motorists and passengers could struggle with is giving over control to the car and trusting in its ability to get us to our destination safely. Sitting back while unable to respond to ever-changing road conditions may be too much for some passengers to bear. And in fact, for many motorists, using a driverless car would take away their joy of driving. While it is expected that driverless cars would likely be in two styles, one that allowed a driver to take over the driving when required and a fully automated version, either version could take away the thrill of controlling a powerful machine. Driverless cars, assume for the most part that driving is simply a means to an end, something we do to get from A to B. In reality, many motorists love to drive, especially when they are in a car they love. The push behind driverless cars is in part thanks to the fact they would be electric, therefore reducing emissions. What’s more, they are expected to help reduce congestion and improve safety, as they do not rely on human interpretation of events. In fact, internet giant Google has been testing driverless cars for some time, and in over 300,000 miles driven, has not suffered a single accident. Another major positive for driverless cars is that they remove the stress associated with driving. They also reduce fatigue and mean that drivers could spend their commute time doing something more productive. Although, simply opting to take part in a car share scheme or making better use of public transport could tick those boxes too! The first location likely to see driverless cars in action is Buckinghamshire town, Milton Keynes. The town is set receive driverless pods that will ferry passengers around designated pathways. Travelling at only 7 mph, they are unlikely to be a rival for the car but they are expected to reduce in-town congestion and help those with mobility issues. With apps in development that can park a car without the driver, the future for driverless cars looks set to be bright. And no doubt, automotive design is set to continue pushing boundaries and testing what we ever thought possible. If you would like to find out more about the latest designs from manufacturers such as Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW and Porsche, check out the range of new cars available from Peter Vardy. For more details call the team on 0844 482 8999.

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