Self-driving cars: the road to the future?

There’s no denying that self-driving cars are the future, but how close are we to getting out of the driving seat once and for all? We take a look at how far down the road to self-driving cars we actually are.

Apple working on self-driving cars

Although there's been speculation for years, Apple have finally confirmed that it's working on its own autonomous vehicle. In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Apple's Director of Product Integrity, expressed interest in self-driving cars and described the concept of autonomous cars as a life-saving technology, potentially preventing millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year. If technology giants like Apple are on board with the idea of self-driving cars, then it's pretty safe to say that it's time to get behind the wheel and accept that this technology is going to be with us sooner than we thought!

The legal side

Let’s be honest, the technology for self-driving cars is pretty much there. It’s the legalities, which are the tricky part now. With things like insurance, licenses and general maintenance to consider, the law would need to seriously change in order for self-driving cars to get on the road to becoming a reality. However, whilst UK Transport Minister, Claire Perry, admitted that it wouldn’t be easy, she also said that “We must not be afraid to ask these questions now.”

Uber trial

A few weeks ago, Uber announced that a select group of customers could hail rides from self-driving cars in Pittsburgh. Of course, it wasn't quite the futuristic experience that one might imagine, as two Uber employees were placed in each car to monitor the progress and capabilities of the car - one behind the wheel to intervene if necessary and the other in the passenger seat monitoring the data and images gathered by the car’s sensors.. But all the same, it marked a significant moment for Uber and for the future of self-driving cars. The thought of self-driving cars still astounds so many people, let alone being able to hail a driverless car merely by using an app on your phone. The trial ran relatively smoothly, and whilst the company says it still has a long way to go, this idea could change the way people get around in the near future.

Whilst we might still be a few more bumps in the road before self-driving cars become the norm, there's been plenty of advances with technology within the motoring industry. With intelligent systems like Vauxhall OnStar, it's fair to say that technology is constantly changing the way we drive, and we're very excited to see what the future holds!