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Are Driverless Cars Safe?

September 4, 2015

  • Google’s self-driving cars have been involved in 14 collisions in 6 years
  • Apple are set to take on the tech giants in the battle for the best driverless car
  • Autonomous automobiles could be the future of motoring

Driverless cars are a red hot topic right now – and with the self-driving motors set to take the world by storm, we thought it was time to have our say on the great driverless car debate.

In a previous post, we discussed the future of driverless cars – and now they’re here, we want to know whether this game-changing tech is friend or foe.

What’s it all about?

Self driving car

Original image by Ed and Eddie

While the concept of a driverless car might sound appealing, the reality of the self-driving revolution is causing a stir among petrolheads – dividing opinion across the board. The automobile industry is a rapidly evolving sphere – and with the Government backing the movement, it seems the UK is in favour of the production of driverless cars. But last month, The Telegraph reported that, despite efforts to put Britain on the self-driving car map, the country is still straggling behind its European competitors.

With Google pioneering the autonomous automobile and trials for driverless cars underway around the world, the self-driving revolution is set to take off sooner than expected. Say goodbye to the steering wheel and brake pedal, and prepare for a whole definition of a ‘no hander’.

The Google autonomous car

A photo posted by Jojo (@jojoshamu) on


As interest piques around the globe, the Google autonomous car will have a lot to live up to once it becomes available worldwide. Laying the groundwork for the future of self-driving cars, the dinky drive is unlikely to hold its reign over the automotive industry for long –  as rumours that Apple are now jumping on the proverbial bandwagon mean competition in the self-drive car class is set to hot up.

With growing interest in driverless cars, UK and US manufacturers are feeling the pressure to keep up with the ever-competitive industry – and European brands are also fighting it out for their moment in the spotlight. With a dedication to innovation, Audi unveiled its A7 driverless car at CES 2015 – and BMW, Delphi Automotive and Nissan are getting in on the action, too.

Friend or foe?

stop sign

It seems that people are just as intrigued as they are concerned by the future of fully autonomous cars – but with so much to consider, the question remains: is the generation of driverless cars set to become a friend or foe of the motoring world?

The future of intelligent automobile technology – as exciting as it appears to be – throws up other questions, too:

  • Crashes, collisions & accidents – who will be held accountable if the worst should happen?
  • Security issues – with an increase in internet connectivity, could hackers take control?
  • Full autonomy – is this actually possible?
  • Everyday driving – will they be able to cope with congestion and road safety?

Google’s self-driving Lexus was the first of their driverless fleet to be involved in a collision which caused injury in July this year – throwing into question whether we should relinquish responsibility for driver and passenger safety.

While 14 collisions over 6 years might seem like a reasonably low figure, are we ready to let go of the wheel and put our trust in the tech? Or is it too soon to let robot technology loose on our roads? Until these questions can be answered, we remain on the fence over the future of the driverless car.

Where do you stand on the great driverless car debate? Whether you’re in favour of cars that drive themselves or you prefer to put your faith in the people, if you’re on the hunt for a new set of wheels, don’t let car finance hold you back!

 

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.