On Monday we spoke about advancing technology, and one thing this is for sure, it is moving very quickly in the car industry. Google, as you may know from our other blog posts, have created a driverless car. When the concept first came to light it seemed that everyone had an opinion, good, bad and rarely indifferent. Well it now seems that America is starting to legalise the use of these vehicles on the roads. The states that have seen these cars on the road are California, Nevada and Florida. It is highly likely that other states will be following in this trend which means that there need to be new rules in place to make sure the roads remain safe.
David L. Strickland is the head of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and he has said, “We’re encouraged by the new automated-vehicle technologies being developed and implemented today but want to ensure that motor vehicle safety is considered in the development of these advances.”
Nevada was the first state to officially allow the driverless vehicles on the road as a result of Google’s efforts to aid legislation in the state. The first license to drive one of these vehicles was issued just under a year ago but it required that there was a driver and a passenger present within the car.
Driverless technology is still in the development stages but the work being carried out is progressing quickly and could be widely available before we know it. This will mean that new car insurance policies will need to be created in line with the technology and the new regulations. The same idea is also being bought over here in Europe. At the auto show circuit BMW announced that one of their vehicles will include a similar trait. The i3 is their all electric vehicle which is planned to go on sale next year and they have said that it will include a system which will mean that the car will be able to navigate through stop and go traffic that is going a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour. However, the driver will need to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel.
A report that was released last month states that for the time being, driverless cars need to be only used for testing purposes on public roads. However, there are some key features which actually already improve the safety on the roads and will be important aspects for cars of the future. These include rearview backup cameras and lane centering systems. These are also available now on some luxury models and other systems such as stability control will be a requirement in future cars.