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.
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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.
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