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Driverless company cars could be ready to go by 2021
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Driverless company cars could be ready to go by 2021

Driverless cars could be on the roads by 2021.

Last week, Chancellor Philip Hammond outlined in his speech that he envisions the UK to be one of the first countries to allow “genuine driverless cars” within four years.

“Some would say that's a bold move, but we have to embrace these technologies if we want the UK to lead the next industrial revolution," he told the BBC.

When asked about the potential loss of jobs for drivers, Hammond said that the country could not “hide from change” and that the Government needs to upskill people “to take up new careers.”

The Government added that the driverless car industry would be worth £28billion to the UK economy by 2035 and will support 27,000 jobs.

Speeding up to the opportunity, car companies are readying themselves to deliver. For example, last week Uber announced last week that it would buy up to 24,000 Volvo cars by 2021 to prepare a fleet of fully autonomous, on-demand passenger vehicles – FT reports. Jaguar Land Rover began testing driverless cars on public roads in Coventry city centre this year. And just a few weeks ago Navya revealed a new city taxi ready for production with no driving seat, steering wheel or brakes for a human driver, The Guardian reports.

However, critics have warned that these technological feats are far from ready. Jeremy Clarkson, former Top Gear presenter said he tested out a driverless car which made two mistakes within 50 miles that could have been life-threatening.

Writing in The Sunday times about the autonomous car industry, currently being developed, he said: “For now, we’re miles away from it.”

However, they could ease the stress on employees lives. A 2015 survey from Venson Automotive Solutions has revealed that company car drivers would welcome driverless cars as an option, with 62% saying they'd be happy to let their company car do the driving. Many said it would reduce the stress on their working day.

According to the survey, respondents see convenience, freedom to work during journeys, better safety and shift of responsibility for accidents, as the main benefits of driverless cars for work with 55% of respondents stating that they think driverless cars will actually reduce road traffic accidents too.

What are your thoughts? Are driverless company cars a risk, or an asset, or both? Tell us in the comments...

  • VeniVidiVici
    Thu, 11 Jan 2018 3:12pm GMT
    ps...... If we ALL had driverless cars it might just work. But a mix? Hmmm.... not so sure
  • VeniVidiVici
    Thu, 11 Jan 2018 3:10pm GMT
    I also do not understand the hype over this. Driving is a miserable experience most of the time. My 6 mile commute takes me an average of 1hr to 1hr 30 mins every day - soul destroying, stop start all the way. How will driverless cars solve the real issue that the roads can no longer sustain the volume of vehicles?
    I can see one advantage in that driverless BMW cars will no longer be able to tailgate me, overtake me on roundabouts and undertake me.

    As for the year 2021... haha.... I have a 1973 (Blue Peter?) Christmas Annual that reliably informs me we will all have flying cars by the year 2000.
  • Paul Robertson-Marri
    Paul Robertson-Marri
    Fri, 5 Jan 2018 3:58pm GMT
    I think it is puzzling why driverless cars are being herladed and promoted as a necessary innovation of the future.

    We have this technology already in the form of existing mass transit systems i.e. trains, metro, trams, buses etc. Many have drivers but could quite easily be made driverless. These mass transit systems carry thousands/millions of people around the globe, something which cars can only do by increasing the numbers of cars.

    We need fewer cars not more-the planet, our cities and our health can't afford it.

    Technology should be focussed on drastically reducing the number of cars.
  • Nick Jones
    Nick Jones
    Fri, 1 Dec 2017 1:12pm GMT
    Driverless cars or autonomous vehicles in my opinion are and will be a fantastic technology. Most of the incidents on the roads are caused by human error.

    However, the technology will significantly and quickly disrupt how we currently live and work. In the longer term there will be a seismic shift in how people commute, travel, infrastructure requirements and the job market.

    Company cars will move to a mobility service. Businesses and employees will pay per journey as opposed to owning the physical vehicle.

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