Can I buy one?
Not right now, as they’re still being tested around the world with the likes of Ford, Google and BWM all throwing their hat into the driverless car ring, but soon-ish...
Truly driverless cars are expected to be on the public roads in the 2020s. Before they can be made available to the general public to buy and be part of regular road traffic, a whole load of legal standpoints will have to be discussed and outlined such as car insurance – can you simply ‘blame it on the car’ if it has an accident and who will ultimately face the consequences if robocar decides to go rogue?
But that’s not to say you can’t experience what it’s like to be in and be driven by a self-driving car. Heathrow’s terminal five already has its own mini fleet of driverless pods that can ferry you from the building to the car park with silent efficiency. If a pod isn’t ready and waiting for you as you step out of the building, you can summon one and once you’re in, you choose your destination on a touchscreen and away you go. But don’t worry, there’s a central control room with a human being in it if the whole experience is just too surreal and out of this world for you to cope with.
The government has also announced that trials of driverless cars will take place on British motorways in 2017. It’s all part of the plan to see that Britain leads the way in transport innovation and the government’s not taking any chances – £20 million has been allocated to various self-driving car projects out of a £100 million fund dedicated to transport technology.