Experts have said we will have to wait some time for autonomous cars, with all vehicles predicted to be ‘highly autonomous’ by 2040 but not fully driverless until 10 years later.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.dailymail.co.uk
That’s not what everyone is wanting to hear is it?
Highly autonomous means loads of safety components and location aware intelligence; cars communicating with each other across common standards, but it still has a driver behind the seat, ready to maintain control if necessary.
A very interesting survey attached to this article says that 49% of Britons would not travel in a driverless car based on safety fears. So what does that mean to us? I doubt that I will be worrying too much if driverless cars will not be a mass market option for another 35 years.
What I am pleased with though, is the significant increase of Government investment in this technology, hopefully also for use in public transport, because I see far more value in coming up with ways that the majority of transport users no longer feel a need to own their own large vehicles. Whether it is pods of some sort that pick you up from your origin and connect you to a Public Transport platoon and then disconnect and take you to your destination. That would seem to me to be much more valuable than individually owned vehicles, says someone who enjoys driving. Particularly given the increased urban population during that time. Many large cities will double in population, but there is insufficient land to proportionally increase the amount of pavement for them.
As I have said many times in previous blogs, if 95% of crashes are due to human error (nice generic term) then safety technology is essential. My fear is that the more technology we have, the less driving skills we need and the less alert we are likely to be to a situation where the ‘driver’ needs to take back control of the vehicle. Not an easy thing to do if you re not even facing forward as in some of these images and videos. Sometimes I wonder if we are still trying to build faster horses instead of novel 21st century transport solutions.