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The Journey to Autonomous Vehicles : Why safety has to come first

News   •   Jun 28, 2016 12:07 BST

'Hands off' driving on motorways could soon be a reality

Matthew Avery, Director of Research at the UK’s leading independent vehicle safety organisation, Thatcham Research, will this evening feature on ITV4’s 'Goodwood First Glance' (9 pm) in an interview with Nicki Shields, explaining the key stages in the move towards full vehicle autonomy and why safety has to be the priority.

Viewers will be taken on a journey from the ‘assisted driving’ capabilities such as Lane Departure Warning that we are familiar with today, through 2018 when hands-off driving on motorways for short periods will be permitted, and 2021 when this will be relaxed to allow fully hands off driving on certain stretches of motorway, all the way to full autonomy in 2025. 

Avery will reiterate the importance of safe, robust systems where the driver is ultimately in full control at all times, as well as the need for full engagement with consumers along the way.

“During the next decade we’ll move incrementally closer to full vehicle autonomy, passing some key regulatory and technology milestones before reaching the point from 2025 where we can expect vehicles to be able to drive themselves from door-to-door, completely hands free,” said Avery.

“The speed of development of this technology is quite remarkable and car makers should be applauded for their innovation. However, it’s imperative that consumers are kept fully informed as things progress if we are to avoid the confusion and lack of education that exists today over the availability and performance of essential safety technologies like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).”

A video of Matthew Avery explaining the key steps to autonomous driving and the developments we’ll see in the near future is available to watch and download here

The simple graphic, available below, captures the main stages on the road to autonomous driving.