Vision of driverless cars gets a step closer to reality

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Vision of driverless cars gets a step closer to reality

There is a real prospect that driverless cars could soon be appearing on Europe’s roads and the hope is that they will cut down on accidents and fatalities.

Road safety is a serious issue in Europe with 26,000 people killed in vehicle-related accidents last year. While driving in Europe is,comparatively, very safe, the number of fatalities is not falling anymore, as it had been for almost ten years.

Driverless cars included in 2016 Budget

Driverless cars will be tested on Britain’s motorways as soon as next year. George Osborne has committed to funding pioneering technologies such as driverless cars in the 2016 Budget, planning for them to be tested on Britain’s motorways as soon as next year. He claims that Britain can “lead the world in new technologies and infrastructure”.

No speeding tickets ever again

Mesh networks will be used through which driverless vehicles communicate with each-other and with infrastructure on the roads, to optimise traffic flow and prevent collisions.This will reduce accidents, jams and congestion and make journeys faster and safer. And no-one willever pick up penalty points for speeding again.The rules and regulations that govern usage are going to be complicated, of course, but while thereare plenty of hurdles to overcome before we have driverless cars on our roads, there is a very real prospect of the vision becoming reality within a few years.

The named ‘driver’ will still be responsible

It is already starting to take shape in California, which could become the first US state to allow passengers to ride in self-driving cars. But there are some issues already here with the State currently requiring that a human driver is able to take control of the car at any time if necessary. But even if they never have to take the controls, if the car parks illegally, the named ‘driver’ will still be expected to cough-up for the parking ticket. Of course, if robotics keep advancing, it’s quite probable that in the future, parking tickets will be issued on our driverless cars by robots. But as most drivers who’ve tried to take issue with a traffic warden will testify, you might have more success arguing with a robot.

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