Some American states such as Nevada allow driverless car trials to be conducted on their public roads. Google has particularly had great success testing both solely autonomous vehicles and also modified versions of existing production models, such as the Lexus RX. Tesla, too, has recently updated its cars’ software with an AutoPilot function. It enables owners to summon their self-parking cars to meet them, such as at the supermarket entrance.
When autonomous vehicles become commonplace on UK roads, a huge reduction in road accidents and resultant deaths is almost guaranteed. Could anybody dispute this as being a good thing?
“The insurance industry will be forced to adapt in order to remain viable. The Highway Code, along with other motoring legislation, will also need modifying. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – and the technology is certainly here already”, comments Alan Locke of Aycen Garages in Manchester.
“The era of autonomous vehicles will likely see many people made redundant from driving jobs, though, from chauffeurs, bus drivers and taxi drivers to couriers and truckers, so this is a downside to be considered”, Alan continues.
“Having use of a car that can drive someone to and from work while they type up reports from the back seat, or a car that can go and collect your takeaway sound like great advancements”, explains Alan. “Some say the fun will be taken away from people who love to drive“.
Driverless Vehicle Security
Hacking is a concern. Recent news reports have highlighted how easy it appeared for people to take control of a Jeep, or remotely unlock a BMW. The public’s concerns will need to be calmed before a strong appetite for autonomous technology develops.
Alan concludes, “The cost of upgrading the UK’s road network may also prove prohibitive. New lanes may need to be added to accommodate autonomous vehicles, while a percentage of conventional vehicles are still in use. Whether the government can finance this and HS2 concurrently remains to be seen.”
Autonomous vehicles will unarguably bring benefits to many. From the elderly attending hospital appointments to busy executives working on the move and haulage companies competing with ever competitive margins. Like with every technological advancement, there are negatives that must be weigh up, too.
Business Aspects Magazine appreciates Alan Locke‘s contribution.