Another day, another press release announcing the imminent arrival of driverless cars.
This one reckons they’ll be on our roads by 2021 and sets out to highlight “some of the less predictable consequences” of that happening.
To give you an idea of the angles taken by this attempt at making headlines, these include the threats of underage driving, mass unemployment, an increase in drinking, a shortage of organs for donation and — yes, you are about to read this right — a heightened threat of hostage situations.
In fact, it’s quite impressive just how many negatives they have managed to spin from the potential benefits of driver assistance systems.
But, above all, they appear to have overlooked the most predictable part of driverless cars taking to our roads in 2021 — namely, the fact that they won’t be, with the exception perhaps of a very limited number of trial vehicles being operated under very strict conditions.
Let’s be clear: mainstream driverless cars or autonomous cars — call them what you will — are still a generation or more away, if they are ever allowed to happen at all. Maybe, just maybe, it could be possible in designated areas built for that purpose, but the prospect of these vehicles taking on mixed-use roads designed 100 years ago in London feels a very long way away.