When Will Self Driving Cars Be Available?

Self-Driving Tesla

Everyone loves the idea of sitting in the passenger seat as their car drives them to their destination. It’s like chauffeuring, but without the need to make small talk! Of course, it also sounds a little bit far-fetched.

Cars can’t drive themselves – yet, and people drive cars – for now. But whichever way you look at it, the future of domestic transport appears to be automated, especially after the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles. So, when will self-driving cars be available?

They have been approved (sort of)

While a fully automated, self-driving vehicle may not be accessible to UK motorists, cars that allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel for extended periods were approved in April 2021. This is thanks to a technology called Automated Lane-Keeping Systems, or ALKS for short.

When ALKS software is activated, cars will automatically stay in their lanes up to speeds of 37mph. They can also brake if drivers don’t respond to a system alert within ten seconds.

But autopilot isn’t that close

However, self-driving as most people see it could be a long way off if the industry is anything to go by. Far from investing more money into the market, several of the early leaders have sold their automated divisions. For example, Woven Planet, a Toyota subsidiary, bought Lyft’s unit. Uber has flogged its self-driving section, too, with Aurora Innovation the buyers last December.

Tesla continues to be a great bastion of Level 5 autonomy though, so there is still hope of a breakthrough in the future. Currently, only shortcuts such as ALKS are ready to hit the market.

Bridge the gap with My Car Credit

Self-driving vehicles are not yet available, but when they are, we’ll be on hand to help with the finance side of things. Until then, you can bridge the gap by searching for a great deal for your next car with our expert help.

Whether you need a car finance poor credit deal or you want to know how APR works, we have the perfect tools. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on 01246 458 810 or enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

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£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

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How Do Self Driving Cars Work?

woman in white car wondering how do self driving cars work

Driverless cars have not yet arrived on Britain’s roads, but self-driving cars will be allowed to travel on motorways later this year. Hailed as the transport of the future, self-driving cars seem to be the next hot topic in the world of motoring. But how do self-driving cars work? We answer this question and more, below.

Self-driving vs. automated cars – what’s the difference?

Fundamentally, the clue is in the name. Self-driving cars can drive themselves in certain situations, but there must be a driver in place – with seatbelt drawn – in order to take charge should emergency situations be detected by the vehicle.

Automated or autonomous cars, by contrast, are driverless. These cars are one step further, in that they operate individually, and have been positioned as ‘self-aware’. There are six levels of automation that distinguish between a vehicle driven entirely by a human to an entirely autonomous vehicle.

The technology of driverless cars

The specific technology of each vehicle will vary depending on the manufacturer. Broadly, however, driverless cars – that is, automated cars – will have the following features:

  • LiDAR sensors – These are light detection and ranging systems. They beam laser light in order to map the car’s surroundings, thereby detecting the edges of roads and lane markings.
  • Radar sensors – These observe nearby vehicles and their speed, in order to avoid collisions.
  • Video camera technology Similarly, this tracks obstacles and pedestrians, working with the radar sensor to mitigate collisions and taking stock of road signs and traffic lights.
  • Ultrasonic sensors – These detect curb edges and other vehicles – they’re fundamental for parking and manoeuvring.
  • Central computer system – Driving all of the above is a central system which combines data from each technology. This therefore manages braking, steering, and acceleration.

Self-driving cars – the advantages

The advantages and disadvantages of self-driving vehicles are still under contention, but their benefits are typically agreed as the following:

  • Greener Proponents of self-driving cars say they’re more environmentally friendly, as they work to streamline traffic flow by optimising road space and will therefore consume less fuel.
  • Safer – With less traffic and a smoother throughflow of cars, it’s anticipated that self-driving cars will make streets safer by reducing risk of accidents and human error.
  • More accessible – Self-driving cars inevitably make transport more accessible for individuals with disabilities – or those who never learned to drive in the case of automated vehicles. It’s therefore suggested that they’re a more inclusive mode of travel.

Self-driving cars – the disadvantages

As the technology for fully driverless cars still has a long way to go, there are many disadvantages to self-driving cars.

  • Safety – Proponents of self-driving cars say they’ll make streets safer – but the industry is, as yet, unregulated. There are serious concerns about the risks of vehicle computers and systems becoming vulnerable to hacking. Computers may also experience wear and tear – and any software error could lead to accidents with pedestrians and other vehicles.
  • The environment – Self-driving cars will require a vast amount of infrastructure to be built across Britain’s roads. Their technology will also operate via 5G, which will sap significant energy resources – most of which are fossil fuelled. Self-driving cars are therefore not climate conscious modes of transport just yet.

What are the rules for self-driving cars on motorways?

As described above, the British government are permitting self-driving vehicles with an automated land-keeping system (ALKS) to travel on motorways from sometime in late 2021. These self-driving vehicles will only be permitted at speeds up to 37mph in slow traffic.

Critically, these self-driving cars are not driverless – you still need someone behind the wheel wearing a fastened seatbelt. The driver must be able to take control of the car in the ten seconds after the vehicle detects an ‘imminent collision risk’. If such a risk is detected, the car will deploy an ‘emergency manoeuvre’ in order to either brake or evade the obstacle. Should the driver fail to respond, the car will automatically switch on its hazard lights, slow down, and turn off the infotainment system.

Upgrading your car

As yet, owning a self-driving car might be a pipedream. But you can still keep your car up to date with all the latest technology to make your life easier, from parking cameras to keyless entry.

That’s where My Car Credit comes in. With a large network of trusted lenders, we can help you find a great deal on car finance to spread the cost of your next ride, working with almost any credit score to finance a car.

Speak to one of our friendly team today on 01246 458 810.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!