2018 looks like it will be the start of the use of the driverless car in the UK.

How do you feel about this?

Is it just the next step in the future of driving and as a car driver or a learner driver, who has desperately been waiting to experience that feeling of freedom which driving for yourself gives. What do you think the benefits will be.

I wonder if it has the possibility to change the way our car insurance costs and is worked out, if we are no longer considered the main driver. Or is that a step too far!

Handing over control of our physical freedom to some form of technology, which can potentially be another way for us to be fed advertising by savvy marketers – just as we have seen in the usage of technology since the internet age thrust its way to the forefront. More and more of what we see, is what we are being fed by those wanting to buy our allegiance and tap into our finances. Is this going to be just another way to control us – rather than delivering us from being controlled by others. Driving has been a very real, physical way, that a person’s freedom has been engaged in the past.

Or can the positive side of this autonomous vehicle outweigh potentially the negatives. If, eventually, those who would be housebound or need someone else to take them out have the opportunity to travel within society in a driverless vehicle and experience the freedom which illness could possibly leave them sadly going without!

‘UK Autodrive is the largest of three separate consortia that are currently trialing automated vehicle technology as part of a government-backed competition to support the introduction of self-driving vehicles into the UK.’ ukautodrive.com

In November 2017 the autonomous cars were out on the streets of Leicester, being tested to see how well they performed.

The future is here as these cars and the surrounding environment which they will find themselves travelling in, will have the ability to talk to each other. Although I can’t help but think this could be another way in which us humans become detached from each other.  Different elements tested will enable this futuristic technology, the capability to ‘converse’ with traffic lights, emergency breaking systems and emergency vehicle warnings.

Once the vehicles are trialed on UK roads, the government will have the ability to see what benefits they will have for society. Stopping the formulation of congestion is one of the important elements talked about.

List of connected car features being trialled within the UK Autodrive programme:

Emergency Vehicle Warning (EVW) – Sends a signal directly from the emergency vehicle (e.g. ambulance, fire engine, police vehicle) to nearby connected cars. Driver is informed that the emergency vehicle is approaching and advised to make way for it.

Intersection Collision Warning (ICW) – Warns the driver when it is unsafe to enter an intersection, due to a high probability of collision with other vehicles.

In-Vehicle Signage (IVS) – Sends information about road conditions, congestion or other incidents directly to the in-car display, rather than having to rely on expensive gantry systems.

Electronic Emergency Brake Light (EEBL) – Alerts the driver when a vehicle in front suddenly brakes, providing advanced warning, especially when the driver is unable to see the lights of the braking vehicle due to weather conditions, road layout or other vehicles in between.

Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) – Sends traffic light information to the connected car which is able to calculate the optimal speed for approaching the lights, potentially minimising the number of red light stops, improving traffic flow and reducing emission levels from idling vehicles.

Intersection Priority Management (IPM) – Assigns priority when two or more connected vehicles come to an intersection without priority signs or traffic lights.

Collaborative Parking – Provides real-time information about free parking spaces either in the vicinity or close to the driver’s final destination.

What do you think about driverless vehicles?