Driverless Car Trials Begin in UK

Want Driving Lessons have been following the Driverless car story for some time now- well after years of waiting the trials have finally started!

All in all this has seemed like a positive step forward with both motorists and safety groups welcoming the beginning of trials. One thing is for sure, 2015 is an already exciting time for driving developments! But all may not be what it seems at first glance. It was found that nearly 48% of consumers wouldn’t be happy about putting a passenger into an autonomous vehicle. For example, parents allowing the car to drive their children to school. In fact the survey by uSwitch.com found that 16% were actually “horrified” by this thought and of driverless cars in general. Another 35% felt that owning a driverless car would mean premiums would sky rocket.

What is it about driverless cars that makes people feel so strongly about them? Could it be the lack of control? After all, we have been controlling our own cars for nearly two centuries, letting go in favour of a sort of ‘car robot’ might not be so easy to do.

James Dalton is the Director of General Insurance at the Association of British Insurers, he had a very interesting viewpoint that was backed up by statistics. “Human error accounts for 90% of road crashes, so the insurance industry supports the development of vehicle technology that improves road safety, such as autonomous emergency braking. Driverless car technology has the potential to revolutionize motoring and the insurance industry is working with the Government, technology providers and vehicle manufacturers to consider whether the current regulatory framework needs to be adapted to deal with vehicles of the future, as well as the insurance industry-specific issues that are likely to arise as technology rapidly advances.”

The idea of driverless cars was certainly one from the wildest imaginations a century ago! The idea that we will be able to ‘program’ our cars to take us to our destination is a great one. It’s very exciting that these developments and trials are happening right here in the United Kingdom. The trials are a fabulous way to see how these cars could impact British roads, there will naturally be the opportunity to tweak the system so that it works perfectly before long.

These trials are also a fail safe way to find out and understand the reaction of users, inside and outside of the cars themselves. The cars themselves are at present small and resemble the smaller city cars rather than the family saloon models. Yet it is predicted that these cars will yield the positive results that the creators are hoping for. These trials will obviously be one of many that are to come, replacing driver-led cars with driver-less cars could take a long time for us to get used to. This is as well as the cars being suited to the roads and traffic conditions. There is still a lot to learn about how these little cars will fare on the roads of the UK.

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