Vehicle technology

Title: Autonomous and Driverless Cars (report)

Organisation: Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
Date uploaded: 25th February 2016
Date published/launched: January 2016

This report says making all vehicles autonomous could prevent up to 95% of collisions, and has identified 2050 as the earliest date by which the UK vehicle fleet could be fully autonomous .

The report concludes that removing the drivers from our vehicles should ultimately mean there are less crashes on our roads.

It describes the benefits of autonomous and driverless vehicles are ‘huge’ and advocates ‘redoubling efforts to look at how we phase out human involvement in driving vehicles’.

However, in a cautionary note, the report acknowledges there are questions to be addressed before highly and fully automated cars will be accepted by the public.

It goes on to says that currently it is estimated to take 10 years to get a new technology on to the production line, with a further 10 to 15 years to get the majority of the UK fleet changed. Therefore, the earliest we could predict a near 100% highly automated UK fleet is by 2040, and a fully autonomous UK fleet by 2050.

On the back of its report, the IMechE is calling for urgent Government and industry action to encourage the greater use of autonomous and driverless vehicles.

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