UK Government gears up to trial self-driving lorries on motorways 0

Guest Blog

This is a guest blog by Servicing Stop PR Executive – Jacqueline Gordon

When autonomous cars hit our roads sometime in the next few years, they will be truly revolutionary. Delivery firms, cab companies and motorists alike are expected to embrace the self-driving vehicles as a convenient alternative to a human driver. But is there a chance they could possibly save lives too?

The UK government announced this week that it is gearing up to trial autonomous lorry convoys on the motorway. It’s hoped self driving lorries travelling in groups will ultimately lower emissions as drivers will no longer have to sharply apply the brakes – this trial is expected to happen as early as next year. The vehicles will be connected through Wifi, the lead lorry taking point. When the first vehicle brakes, the entire fleet will simultaneously follow suit.

While this has raised some eyebrows, it’s not the only use for driverless vehicles currently being considered. Research has revealed that motorists too like the idea of autonomous ambulances as a way to save time when it really matters.

It has been theorised that an autonomous quick response car could drop a paramedic and medical kit to the exact home or location of the person needing medical assistance; the car could then find a parking space and return to pick up both the patient and paramedic when requested. In built up or residential areas where parking spaces are thin on the ground, this could prove invaluable.

The UK’s largest online car servicing provider, Servicing Stop, presented this scenario to motorists as part of a new survey and more than one in four thought it was a good idea. Not only is the enthusiasm for self-driving vehicles growing, but so is public levels of trust in the technology. More than a quarter (28%) of motorists already welcome the idea of autonomous ambulances.

Servicing Stop also found that one in three motorists are willing to pay more for a car that has the ability to drive itself. More than 30% of the 1,200 motorists questioned revealed they would pay more for an autonomous car, given its ability to take control and allow the owner to carry out some other tasks behind the wheel or even take a snooze on the back seat.

CEO and founder of Servicing Stop, Oly Richmond, said: “Autonomous cars are presenting new capabilities and possibilities to the average driver every single day. Not only will the self-driving cars; once properly integrated, provide greater efficiency on our roads but it will offer a range of support for motorists and pedestrians alike. If autonomous cars can improve the effectiveness of our emergency care services then we should offer them a warm welcome. One thing’s for certain, the autonomous vehicle industry will throw up some fascinating possibilities for all of us.”

Would you pay more for a self-driving car? Result
No, I would rather pay more for a car that can only be driven by a human. 68%
Yes, I would pay more for a self-driving car. 32%

 

How do you feel about self-driving ambulances? Result
No, I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a self-driving ambulance or

response car take me to hospital.

72%
I think it’s a great idea, saves time and possibly lives. 28%

 

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