The Driverless Car You Could See In Less Than 6 Months
Cars without drivers? Surely not. Well apparently we may seen them sooner than you think!
We will see them as early as January
Yep, they will be here that fast! Although the cars themselves won’t be so quick, Google’s fleet of 100 cars clocking in at 25 mph top speed in the state of California.
That’s stateside though, back across the pond in the UK the driverless car is to be trialed in three cities at the start of 2015 with the hope of expanding the fleets if they are successful. First there is the challenge of changing the regulations to allow automated vehicles on the roads as they are still technically illegal on British tarmac.
News of this sort may be exciting to us, but we are effectively at the back of the pack with Finland, Italy France and Belgium follow behind America, who are way out in front. We also heard in November that Milton Keynes will be trialing 20 driverless “pods” with the aim of growing the fleet to 100 by 2017. So it might not be so bizarre seeing people ferried around without a driver in the near future.
They won’t be like the creepy taxi in “Total Recall”
Many of the prototypes from the major car brands (Volvo, Ford etc.) are just normal cars with state-of-the-art equipment fitted to them such as cameras and sensors that observe the surroundings and dictate where the car is in the space around it.
However, tech giant Google are also in the race for fully automated transport and they have a prototype more of a “pod” that literally has an interior of seats and windows. Everything that the driver would operate including steering wheel and pedals in a normal car has been stripped out for maximum space and comfort.
On the plus side, there won’t be anything reminiscent of the creepy Johnny Cab robot in the original Total Recall film…At least we hope not.
Will they be safe?
With some of these prototypes don’t include a steering wheel or any kind of control system, it’s understandable that you may be skeptical stepping into one of these cars for a ride. Google’s car will at least have an emergency stop button, so if your vehicle somehow becomes lost you can stop from tumbling off of a cliff.
Not to worry though, Google’s driverless car has apparently clocked an impressive 700,000 miles without a single accident, so at least Google have proved that it is possible to produce a system that doesn’t end up like a round of bumper cars at the fair.
Will the driverless car change the roads?
Potentially yes, massively.
It’s hard to imagine a world in which we step into a pod, give it a destination and it simply takes us there without any driver input, but with time it’s entirely possible. Think how much more time in the day we could have if we didn’t need to concentrate on the road while travelling. With that said, a lot of us enjoy driving, so where’s the fun in that?