Are you getting a little bored of the endless talk about autonomy for cars? And all the excitement in the mainstream media about Google cars and how we are on the edge of a whole new way of driving?

I don’t blame you. The day when your car will drive you to work is still a long way off. And don’t expect Google or Apple to upend the global car industry. The majority of cars sold in 10 years’ time will still need to be driven by a qualified occupant who will have their hands on the wheel for the vast majority of any journey.

Truth is, there are many kinds of automotive autonomy - and you probably have at least one form on your car already.

The fact that you might not know that is the whole point. With the exception of hands-free progress in heavy traffic - something that is still a tricky area for the law because of clauses in the Vienna Convention - most of the autonomous technology coming our way will lie dormant until the split second it is needed.

The autonomous system you might already have on your car is probably a form of electronic stability control (ESC). Take a corner too quickly - and then unsettle the car by lifting off the gas - and you run the risk of being pitched off the road.