When the first steam powered cars took to the roads in the early 1860’s it was feared that they might endanger the safety of the public. Due to these concerns, speed limits of a maximum of 4 mph in the country and 2 mph in the city were introduced, as well as requiring a man carrying a red flag or lantern to walk in front of the vehicle.
Almost 120 years later we now stand at the dawn of the self-driving cars. A scary prospect for many. Everything, from how we move goods to how we move ourselves around, is ripe for change.All sorts of assisted driving features are beginning to appear on mass-produced cars, many new models can park themselves, maintain a safe distance in steady traffic and brake automatically to avoid a crash. But some companies, including Google are working on cars that will drive themselves all the time, and even be sent on the roads with nobody on board.
Just think we could do away with driving lessons, tests and drink driving laws. The cars would always obey the traffic laws, accidents and congestion would fall dramatically. But cabbies, traffic police and parking wardens would be among those put out of work.
When autonomous cars are made commercially viable, the government will have to make new amendments to the current Highways Acts. There is already considerable debate surrounding the legal and ethical issues of driverless cars. Another issue is liability, who do we sue when a driverless car is involved in an accident?
It is thought that we could have this new technology commercially viable and on our roads by 2020. This would change our roads from a personal and business travel aspect. Google has successfully produced 10 models of autonomous cars. Following this the states of Nevada, Florida and California have all passed laws allowing the operation of autonomous vehicles. With these new laws passed it is only time before we see a form of autonomous cars driving down your street.
Would you have or use one in the future???
For help with cars that require a driver…. Call GWA on 01243 510 650