It’s no longer the stuff of sci-fi, and it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ autonomous cars will be driving on New Zealand roads.
At this week’s Tokyo motor show Honda, Nissan and Toyota revealed concept vehicles that have the potential to be self-driving (see page 21), joining the likes of Tesla and Google in touting the future of motoring.
While Tesla and Google have stated they aim to have self-driving cars on the roads by 2020, Japan’s car companies are more conservative and looking at 2025.
The number of car company accelerating their self-driving vehicles is increasing, especially in the US, with Audi, Bosch, Mercedes, Delphi Automotive, Google, and Nissan holding permits to test autonomous vehicles.
Also revealed in Japan this week was Mercedes-Benz’s latest self-driving concept car, the Vision Tokyo.
It is a version of company’s Luxury in Motion concept aimed directly at Generation Zers.
Born after 1995, this generation is used to being driven around everywhere — as I can testify in my household, with my teenage daughter not even thinking about getting her driver’s licence.
My Driven colleagues were discussing Vision Tokyo.
I said my daughter would be fine with it as she’s already been chauffeured around in a Mercedes-Benz — my current test vehicle, the new GLE coupe.
So while the likes of Gen Z will embrace self-driving cars, what about us existing drivers?
Do you feel confident enough in letting your car drive you to work, just like George Jetson, or do you want to be able to dictate your route and stay in control behind the steering wheel?