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Self Driving Cars

Self Driving Cars

 

The self driving car, has always been something of Science fiction, but it could be closer than we think. Coming to the streets of Britain, of all places.

The British government is interested, and putting money into the proposition. Three consortia of consultants companies and universities are revving up trials in places such as Greenwich, Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes.

 

But they have some catching up to do. For the past six years, Google cars have been cruising the roads and streets of California and Texas with a human driver ready to take over from the autonomous machine in an emergency.

 

“Self driving cars could cut accidents on the roads to 0”

 

Although this seems a long way off, after legal complications. Automated cars reduce the risk of accident, they make precise judgements, no road rage and cannot suffer fatigue.

 

Legal obstacles

One of the most eye-catching schemes in Britain is in Milton Keynes, where the Autodrive Project wants to deploy a collection of small autonomous electric pods.

 

Arrive at the railways station, step into a two-person pod, say where you want to go (in a limited town centre range of addresses) using your smart phone, and off you drive.

 

The pods are designed to use the ample pavements of Milton Keynes, not the roads where autonomous vehicles are not permitted by law. The trouble is, to use powered vehicles on pavements is going to need a change in the regulations, too.

 

Although this may be decades off, self driving cars are certainly creeping up on us. If you are sceptical, does your car have cruise control? Or self parking?

 

What are your thoughts?