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2 December, 2012

Driving lessons of the Future

Green electric car charging

2012 will be remembered for a number of firsts: first sub-37-second relay, first song to be played on Mars, first person to pass a driving test in an electric car…

OK, so the last of those didn’t get quite the same coverage, but it was an important development nonetheless. Navdeep Pandher, a teenager from Hull, took his test in a Vauxhall Ampera this October, and drove his way to a little piece of automotive history in the process. We salute him!

His success got us wondering what driving lessons of the future might involve. Feel free to add your own thoughts and predictions in the comments below, but we’re thinking robots will have to play a role somewhere (this would be a sorry “future” blog if they didn’t).

Driving with RED, lessons for the future  

Naturally, futuristic driving instructors would also come with in-app, add-on purchases. You could rock up to RED and choose to have your lesson delivered in the dulcet tones of Jeremy Clarkson (could you bear it?), or perhaps Alan Partridge (would the robot come with string-backed driving gloves, “for a bit of extra purchase”?). Not that we’d ever advocate doing away with our human driving instructors of course, but the future is about nothing if it’s not about change (and robots – have we mentioned the robots?).

RED Driving student just passed

Learning to drive responsibly, with RED

In truth, driving lessons of the future are already upon us, and it turns out they’re not entirely given over to electric cars and gadgets. Eco driving plays a very big part going forward, and much of that has to do with common sense. We’re fast moving towards a world where the roof rack is a thing of the past (a nightmare for aerodynamicists, and a major stress on your gas-guzzling engine), and where good quality route planning apps can make a significant difference to your carbon footprint as well as your wallet.

Having a better understanding of your car and how to keep it in good condition is essential to the modern driver, and this will be reflected in your driving lessons. It’s no longer enough to be able to perform a hill start or reverse into an empty space, a good eco driver will know precisely the kind of oil their engine requires, or the pressure at which their tyres should be maintained, without having to Google the answer. And while we accept that this may be like learning Greek for some people, a future-conscious driver will put in the effort. There are first times for everything, after all.