Haven’t learnt to drive yet? Look, we get it. It’s expensive (and difficult!) But now you can ignore your driving friends taking the mickey out of you for it. Cars driven by humans might soon be thing of the past.
That’s right, your mates might have spent their hard-earned cashola on driving lessons, but the joke’s on them – vehicles could be driving themselves by 2025. Yep, fully self-driven vehicles could grace UK roads sooner then we thought, after the government pumped £100 million into the idea.
New laws are being brought in to speed up the process (with a further £34 million fed into safety research, and thank goodness for that, eh?)
Apparently, self-driving vehicles could be used on motorways as soon as next year – though that’s motorways only, mind. People would need a special licence to use them anywhere else. But if all goes to plan, totally self-driving vehicles will be hitting the road in around three years – and they can be driven anywhere in the UK.
This isn’t a totally crazy new thing. Teslas and other cars already have some self-driving features, but not full-blown-driving-itself-alone ones. These cars basically use range-detecting lasers and multiple cameras to spot vehicles, obstacles and pedestrians as they navigate the road.
You can see why it’s a complex issue, but supporters of the self-driving car believe they will make the roads safer for drivers and pedestrians, by eliminating human error.
And here’s the thing – new laws would have to be brought in if these cars hit the market, which would ensure the human ‘driver’ was not liable for any accidents that happened in a completely self-driving vehicle. Instead, the manufacturer of the car would be responsible.
The Department for Transport has said the benefits of switching to the self-driving model doesn’t end at reducing danger on the roads, it could create 38,000 new jobs too.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘We want the UK to be at the forefront of developing and using this fantastic technology, and that’s why we are investing millions in vital research into safety and setting the legislation to ensure we gain the full benefits that this technology promises.’