Earlier this year Dubai announced driverless flying cars within months. The flying cars is fitted with a touchscreen to the front of the passenger seat displaying a map of all destinations in the form of dots. It has preset routes and the passenger selects the intended destination. The vehicle will then start automatic operation, take off and cruise to the set destination before descending and landing in a specific spot. A ground-based center will monitor and control the entire operation.
After The Drones and flying cars, it’s time for Self-driving cars without a human behind the wheel that could run freely on UK roads from 2021.
The plans by the British Chancellor are one of a host of measures intended to boost the automotive and technology industries.
A number of UK companies have recently ramped up testing of autonomous cars. A partnership of Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Tata Motors confirmed it had taken its self-driving trial to public roads for the first time.
However, these current trials must have a human in the driving seat in case something goes wrong. The new rules, which will mean a change to the Road Traffic Act, will allow testing without a driver at the wheel.
The plans will help the UK catch up with countries such as America and Singapore, both of which have been leading the way with self-driving research.
More notably, Google’s self-driving firm Waymo announced earlier this month that it will now offer a fully autonomous taxi service in a suburb of Pheonix, Arizona without a driver behind the wheel.
Other initiatives include a £400m pot for electric car charging points and £100m to boost clean car sales, which is likely to mean ongoing incentives for electric and hybrid.
The advent of self-driving cars will herald a “revolution” for many elderly and disabled people, the transport secretary said yesterday.
The technology would grant people who cannot drive a “new sense of freedom,” and there are many people who cannot drive today, who cannot travel on our roads, who will be able to take to the roads in future.
The elderly, people with disabilities, who cannot drive today are going to discover a new sense of freedom and opportunity and independence. That probably is the biggest transformation that will happen.
There were “huge safety implications” surrounding the technology, such as eliminating human error, the single biggest contributory factor in accidents.
A host of car manufacturers and tech companies are working on designs for autonomous vehicles. Some, like Ford and Google, feature removable steering wheels, effectively eliminating the need for a human driver altogether.
A new compulsory insurance framework that covers automated vehicles will be mandated as part of measures in the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.
Fully automated cars have the potential to drastically improve road safety, reduce transport delays and increase the mobility of thousands of people who currently find it hard to get around.