Complex Made Simple

World can’t wait for driverless cars

If someone likens the news of technological advances to mayflies, they’re probably not wrong. Fast-evolving technological breakthroughs have often advanced the clock, putting us ahead by several years. It is true at least in the case of driverless cars.

And just as soon as these changes come about, it feels like they’re already old news.

‘World leader’ of driverless cars

For example, last year, experts said the future would be self-driving cars. But the United Kingdom has already announced plans to introduce new laws concerning insurance claims in the event of a crash involving an autonomous or driverless vehicle.

In order to become the ‘world leader’ of driverless cars, the country has allowed trials of such vehicles on public roads.

The UK government has also funded a project to create “the most advanced environment for testing connected and autonomous vehicles” from its £100million Intelligent Mobility Fund early last year.

It picked a consortium of ten companies, including multinational engineering conglomerate Siemens, which has decades-long experience in traffic management and is a champion of automation.

Self-driving taxis

Meanwhile, various car manufacturers have been carrying out test runs in several cities across the world.

In August, self-driving taxis trialled in a business park in Singapore’s Queenstown.

Ride-hailing company Uber took 14 self-driving cars onto the streets in Pittsburgh in a pilot program in September. Most recently, in yet another major development, the company entered into a deal with Daimler that would allow the German automaker to operate its self-driving vehicles on Uber’s network.

Dubai takes the lead in Middle East

Dubai was the first city in the Middle East to conduct a trial of cars without drivers. The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) deployed a ten-seater vehicle on trial run in the Downtown and Business Bay districts in September 2016 and in January this year.

The emirate’s Autonomous Transportation Strategy envisions making 25 per cent of all transportation trips in the city smart and driverless by 2030.

With advances moving so rapidly, it’s quite likely that driverless cars will be a common aspect of our world and the future will hold something you haven’t even imagined.