It’s the stuff that they make movies about; two-seater pods riding around motorways and cities with no drivers! Road signs and traffic lights have disappeared and cities are cleaner and less congested. People have reclaimed the streets; what’s next hover boards?
Joking aside, this is fast becoming the reality as members of the public have recently tested the first driverless car in Milton Keynes. The two-seater electric vehicle travelled in a 1km (0.6-mile) loop on the pavements around the town’s railway station. Other cities are likely to begin testing in the next few months with hopes for a fleet of 40 pods becoming available to the public as soon as next year.
These landmark trials are the first steps to bring these self-driving vehicles to the UK and the world. They demonstrate how much at the forefront Britain is with their innovation with this ground-breaking moment.
Other implications will be cars travelling closer together as human error is eliminated, motorways could be half as wide as they are now, while roads and parking spaces – which currently make up as much as half the land area of a city – will shrink. These spaces could be used for other much needed amenities such as offices, housing and the traditional high street could be given the much needed facelift it deserves.
Autonomous vehicles are also likely to be emission free, leading to cleaner air in towns and cities.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “The first public trials of driverless vehicles in our towns ‘presents huge opportunities for our automotive and technology firms and the research that underpins the technology and software will have applications way beyond autonomous vehicles.”
Perhaps Marty Mcfly, the Doc and his DeLorean in Back to the Future wasn’t that far-fetched after all!