Fleet management news – The Driverless Revolution
If the first five years of the decade are any guide the two big trends in fleet management news for the next five years will be electric cars and driverless vehicles. We’ve covered the potential, prospects and pitfalls of electric vehicles before on this blog. In October we even took the Nissan LEAF on an extended test drive. We haven’t spent quite as much time looking at the potential for driverless cars. Since they could be an even bigger innovation for road warriors covering hundreds of miles a week we thought we’d put that right this week.
What does the law say?
Like many technological innovations over the last few decades it’s taking the law a while to catch up with the driverless car revolution. In late 2014 the government announced a pilot scheme for driverless cars that will see them driving themselves around Coventry, Milton Keynes, Greenwich and Bristol. The pilot is expected to last between 18 and 36 months, depending on results, which means that it will be a little while before you can relax in the back of your very own driverless car as it speeds up the M6.
If you’d like to know the exact position then you can have a flick through the 40 page report that the Department for Transport produced back in February. The short summary is that the government is enthusiastic about the idea but remains to be convinced that the technology is ready. Don’t pre-order your Google car just yet!
What’s on the market?
Of course, the next big question is what’s available and when can I have it? Driverless cars are still at the concept stage and this means that they fall into one of two categories.Stunning concept cars of the type that, sadly, never seem to hit the road, and ugly heavily modified versions of existing cars that even Jeremy Clarkson wouldn’t be seen driving. Google’s new pod car is this year’s most striking example of the former. Sadly however it’s not desperately practical if you ever need to keep anything in the boot.
The major manufacturers have been relatively quiet when it comes to their plans for driverless cars. You’ll need to keep scanning future editions of our fleet management news articles to find out the latest. The notable exception to this is Volvo who have been happily testing their driverless vehicles on the streets of Gothenburg for more than two years.
Sadly, it looks like it will be you at the wheel of the car for at least a few more years to come. The future does look very interesting though so we’d suggest keeping your eyes peeled for the latest developments.