As driverless cars prepare to hit the roads from January 2015, motorists worry it could be a bad move. As incredible as this new technology is, would you be prepared to let your car take over? Or do you think it’s a much better idea to stick to manual cars from dealers such as the Jennings Motor Group? Below you’ll discover everything you need to know about this new car tech and how it works.
Driverless cars – how will they work?
The main concern motorists have when it comes to driverless cars is how they will work. The technology was actually invented in the 1980s. Anti-lock brakes set the wheels in motion for driverless vehicles. While the driver needed to actually step onto the brakes to trigger the system, it still takes over to pump the brakes so you don’t have to. This prevented the wheels from locking up and skidding. It worked via speed sensors installed in the wheels. Those sensors were what provided the base for the next development in driverless cars.
Stability control was more sophisticated and was able to detect when the vehicle was going to skid out of control. It then took over to ensure it stayed balanced. It was able to brake or increase the power in order to avoid a potential accident.
More recently cars of today are often fitted with pre-safe systems. These help to reduce the severity of a crash if you come across an unexpected obstacle. You could be going around a corner only to find a parked car in the way. The system detects the parked car and will often signal an alarm. As you brake, the car automatically reduces the engine’s power. More advanced systems are able to get the airbags ready for deployment if a crash cannot be prevented.
As you can see from existing auto technologies, driverless cars will use a combination of what has already been developed and newer, more advanced technologies. HowStuffWorks has a great detailed guide on how todays driverless cars will work.
When will they become mainstream?
While driverless cars are being introduced onto the UK’s roads in January 2015, they are only doing so on a trial basis. Just three cities will be trialling the cars and its success will affect how quickly they become introduced into the mainstream auto sector. It is estimated that driverless cars will be mainstream in 5-10 years.
As featured by the BBC, the trials are set to last from 18 to 36 months. It is costing £10 million to complete the trial over three winters and road regulations still need to be adjusted.
Overall driverless cars are an impressive step towards the future of car tech. As it stands there isn’t a lot of public support for this impressive technology. However, providing the trial goes well, motorists are sure to change their minds. Many will be curious to see just how these cars work. The government aren’t going to put anything on the roads that poses a risk to members of the public. So when driverless cars do hit the mainstream, you can be sure they will be safe to ride in.