Prospects for Driverless Cars in the UK
2014 has been a year of progress for driverless cars in the UK. In July this year the government announced that driverless cars will be permitted on UK roads from January next year. As that date approaches we’ve taken a look at what this will mean in practice, whether driverless cars in the UK will be arriving in your fleet soon and some of the other major technological advances we’ve seen on the road in recent years.
When will Driverless Cars Arrive?
Don’t expect to see driverless cars in the forecourt of your local dealership on new year’s day. Just because they’re allowed on the road doesn’t mean that the technology is ready yet! Instead you should expect driverless cars in the UK to be rolled out gradually. We already offer many vehicles with parking sensors and similar modern features, the current Ford Mondeo is an excellent example. The first step towards driverless cars in the UK is likely to be the introduction of self-parking cars which can manoeuvre themselves into spaces that many (but not all) drivers would struggle with. We’re likely to see things like this before we see driverless cars zooming down motorways at 70mph!
How Good is the Technology?
Driverless car technology has improved significantly in recent years. In May, Google introduced a new version of its self driving car which has neither a steering wheel nor pedals. Volvo is continuing to lead the way among European manufacturers. Its driverless Volvo S60 has been driving around Swedish streets for over a year. Volvo has not gone as far as Google, international road regulations require a driver to be able to take control at all times so it remains possible to drive the new Volvo S60 like any other car.
2014 has been a very exciting year for driverless cars in the UK and, with their introduction to our highways now just weeks away it looks like 2015 will be even better. It still looks like it will be several years before driverless cars in the UK become available to the general public but, at the rate the technology is developing it’s hard to be too certain of anything