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The Driverless Cars of the Future
Self-driving cars used to be the things of sci-fi movies but with the recent announcement that Google have started to build the driverless car it seems that the future is not too far away.
The driverless car
The dinky two-seater car, which looks a bit like a Smart car, will have a stop-go button but no steering wheel, pedals or controls. To ensure passenger safety it will have a maximum speed of 25mph. But how will these relatively slow moving cars fit in with the UK’s current roads?
Following Google’s announcement, the UK have started drawing up new laws to allow these driverless vehicles onto Britain’s roads. It has also been suggested that the current Highway Code will need to be modified to accommodate these new vehicles.
What impact will this have on our roads?
It is not yet clear exactly how the UK’s roads and driving laws will be changed to deal with these autonomous vehicles and there still some grey areas. For example, what happens if the self-driving car breaks the law? Is it the driver who is at fault or the manufacturer? Also will you need a driving licence to push the start/stop button in the driverless car and how will this change the driving test?
Cars currently on the roads already have features akin to this driverless car as vehicular controls become more and more automated. Drivers already reap the benefits of these features, such as self-parking, and it will be no different with the self-driving car.
RED Driving School CEO Ian McIntosh says: “Technology has always been transformational in the development of the human race and more recent examples are powered flight, home appliances such as washing machines and of course the internet. Self-driving cars are perhaps not just around the corner (pun intended) but they are inevitable and society will adapt to capitalise on the benefits they will provide for safe mobility.
Businesses such as RED will also have to evolve and when the time comes, we will. But for now, the best way to acquire safe driving skills for our conventional vehicles is to have lessons with a professional instructor backed by a quality organisation”
The self-driving car will change the UK’s roads but while a car that drives itself is very exciting, there are still lots of questions that need to be answered before the UK’s roads are ready for this futuristic arrival.
You can hear more of Ian McIntosh’s views on the driverless car in his interview with Sky News.