Your car also becoming your chauffeur will massively change the general perception of transport. While some driverless elements are already available – technology now in use helps drivers to execute parking manoeuvres, dodge obstacles or stay in lane – full automation is still some way off. But the potential benefits of better safety and a better driving experience are now part of the conversation.
ŠKODA's Jan Obermann, who works in the department for technological development of driver assistance systems, has a clear idea of how the tech could be useful, while also recognising the obstacles that stand in the way. He’s quick to focus on the immediate beneficial applications. “One of the trends we are pursuing is this: There are frequently used routes that simply call for implementation of systems designed to take over the driver's leading role, and our primary ambition is to offer solutions designed to drive vehicles in traffic jams and perform parking manoeuvres.”
“Technology,” he concludes, “only plays a partial role in implementing driverless vehicles. Other factors include finance and legislation, and the social impacts of driverless technologies are an aspect that so far has not really been discussed very extensively.”
So, before you get in a car to be driven away, there still are a few barriers that need to be raised.