You may have seen that Uber have been testing driverless vehicles in Arizona.
Due to a recent crash during their trials, they have been forced put their testing on hold.
Those behind that testing believe that for every day they are able to test these ultra-modern fully automated vehicles (AVs) the closer they are getting to becoming main-steam on our road networks.
What are the potential benefits of automated vehicles?
A reduction in crashes on our roads.
Advocates for driverless vehicles believe that they will be a noticeable decline in accidents on our roads. Driver error amounts to around 90% of accidents and fatalities on our roads. By using an AV you remove the variables that come alongside humans, such as drunk drivers, mobile phone usage, distraction caused from within the vehicle and outside of it and tiredness to name a few.
Access for all
Whether you are unable to drive due to a disability, your age or another licence restriction, by travelling by a shared AV or in your own autonomous vehicle you will be able to get from A to B without hassle.
Reduction of gridlock
With the vehicles being programmed to move to their destinations without disrupting one another, the traffic on the roads should move more smoothly and constantly. Automated taxis would lead to less traffic overall and a reduction in traffic jams. Tailbacks are often caused by accidents on the road, with the forecast reduction in traffic accidents comes a reduction in congestion.
What are the negatives of automated vehicles?
Our laws and other vehicle measure will need adapting.
Whilst the main selling point of a driverless vehicles are clear, there are many other factors to consider. It is likely that those of us who would still choose to own our own vehicle would all need to undertake a completely revolutionised version of a driving test, in order to be placed in charge of these automatic vehicles. Sections of the law will also need adapting and creating to cover this new era of mobility.
Our current measures of vehicle safety, such as MOT tests and personal insurance policies would need a complete overhaul too, in order to accommodate the AVs.
Automated vehicles could be vulnerable to hackers
Compromising of computer controls and software, automated vehicles could in theory be taken over by hackers. If they were under their control, they could be driven off course, crashed, or shut down remotely.
Petrol heads will be left unsatisfied
With the introduction of driverless vehicles comes the reduction in those who will own their own vehicles. With automatic systems, those that drive for pleasure may end up being in the minority. Those who enjoy tinkering with their motors and carrying out car repairs may end up at a loss.
Tech manufacturers and car companies alike both foresee AVs being common place on our roads by 2025. Whether you are excited to try a driverless vehicle or you are dreading the revolution, change is certainly travelling in our direction.