Log on before buckling up: self-driving cars are coming

No one can argue that emergent technology – like telematics-based insurance – has been leading to safer and less-expensive motoring for the UK consumer, but now the next step is on the horizon, with the advent of the self-driving car looming off in the distance.

It used to be that remote alarms, central locking, and electric windows were kind of a big deal when it came to in-car technology.  Now, these things are accepted as standard, along with hybrid vehicles that can switch off whilst sitting at a red light or that can sense if it’s started to rain in order to turn on your wipers, all of which eliminate the need for human oversight.

The next step that’s emerging right now is the concept of the ‘connected’ car, with manufacturers offering bluetooth and satnav integration and car insurance companies coming forward with little black boxes you can fit under your bonnet to gain access to less expensive car insurance rates.  Wireless internet access isn’t that far behind, with scientists predicting that people will be nearly as connected in their cars as they are at home or at work by next year.

Researchers are working on the technology now that will provide today’s kids with cars that nearly drive themselves.  Soon you won’t have to wonder who has priority in the roundabout, as sophisticated computers fitted into your car and other nearby vehicles communicate with one another much faster than humans possibly could, and visionaries imagine a world where you’d log on to your vehicle upon sitting down, in order to load your motoring preferences into the car, which could include things like how you prefer your wing mirrors to be positioned and what radio station you like to listen to whilst out on the road.

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