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The End Of Learner Drivers – Driverless Cars
Trials for driverless cars began this week in four UK cities as the reality of driverless cars hitting our roads looms closer. However, what does this mean for learner drivers? Is learning to drive a waste of time or should you carry on striving for a driving licence?
Kicking Things Off
The trials kicked off with the self-driving passenger shuttle in Greenwich, whilst autonomous “pods” were trailed around public areas in Milton Keynes and Coventry. Meanwhile trials for the BAE Wildcat were carried out in Bristol.
The launch of driverless cars is being lead by Google and a handful of worldwide vehicle manufacturers as well as being pushed by the government in an effort to make the UK leaders in this breakthrough technology.
Claire Perry, a transport minister, said: “Driverless cars are the future. I want Britain to be at the forefront of this exciting new development, to embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment.”
How Automated Are We Talking?
Eventually there will be two levels of driverless cars. The first will be “highly automated” where drivers will need a full driving licence and will have to take over the driving if needs be. The second will be “fully automated” which will not require any participation from the driver.
Driverless cars are said to be responsive to other vehicles, traffic lights and even road signs. This means that passengers of the fully automated vehicles can read, text and carry out a whole host of activities whilst in a driverless car.
What’s The Effect on Learner Drivers?
So what does this mean if you are thinking about starting to learn to drive or if you are already a learner driver? It is likely that driverless cars will not take over the roads in an instant, therefore replacing manual cars. The transformation is more likely to be gradual. It is also likely that the fully automated cars, where no driving licence is needed, will become popular once the public are comfortable with the highly automated cars – this is something that can potentially be spread over quite a long period of time.
It is estimated that driverless cars will reach a stage suitable for safety to hit our roads by 2030, which is fifteen years away. So unfortunately if you thought driverless cars were the way out of taking a driving test, fifteen years may just be a little too long to wait!
Image source: www.independent.co.uk