Chancellor Philip Hammond says yes!
Picture a world where you no longer need to get in the front seat to drive your car from A to B. Imagine if the vehicles themselves could do the hard work, heading off with little to no input from a human being.
Since technology is accelerating at such a rapid rate, this imaginary future is not at all far-fetched, or far away… In fact, according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it could happen much sooner than you think.
“Some would say that’s [driverless cars] a bold move, but we have to embrace these technologies if we want the UK to lead the next industrial revolution,” Chancellor Philip Hammond recently told the BBC.
He also explained that the objective is to have “fully driverless cars” on UK roads by the year 2021. Plus, when he says fully, he’s not kidding around. These vehicles wouldn’t have a safety attendant in them, making them completely autonomous.
What’s more, the UK’s biggest car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, has already begun testing driverless vehicles. The series of tests took place over a matter of several weeks in Coventry. People were onboard during the testing to react to any emergency situations.
The government is backing the industry big time, and has even claimed it will be worth £28 billion by 2035. Officials also believe that the driverless car services will go as far as to create a massive 27,000 jobs in the UK by that point.
Despite the governments clear positivity, some are not as optimistic about the idea of autonomous vehicles. Critics have said that the tech is too rudimentary, and that the proposed timescales are far too ambitious.
Jeremy Clarkson, famous TV presenter and car fanatic, has spoken out claiming he was recently sat in a driverless car that made a series of mistakes that could’ve killed him. In the Sunday Times magazine, he said that the experience highlighted that the tech is still “a very long way off.”