Considerable excitement and anticipation continues to rise for the future of driverless cars in the UK. Testing of autonomous vehicles started last year, and there are a number of companies and researchers focussing on the concept and its future.
It seems pretty clear that eventually these cars will come to UK roads; but how will they benefit the disabled population?
Simply put, a driverless vehicle will give a disabled person more independence. If someone doesn’t own a car, then tasks such as shopping, attending hospital appointments, or work can become difficult. Obviously this applies to anyone without access to a car, but when you consider the travel alternatives – taxis, which can become expensive, and buses and trains, which can be very difficult for someone with limited disability to navigate – then a driverless car can help a disabled person with their day-to-day activities.
With the eradication of human error – a key factor in most car accidents – the driverless car will help to improve safety. The cars have a number of sensors placed around the vehicle, which means they can sense hazards.
One of the greatest hopes for this technology is its positive impact on our planet in reducing emissions. The belief is that the car will be able to communicate with the road infrastructure that lies ahead, such as traffic lights, and therefore avoid congestion, meaning traffic jams are kept to a minimum and quicker and safer routes are taken, causing less harm to the environment.[img src: Google]