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Driverless cars set to take over roads by 2050
Posted on 12/02/2016

TransportUnited Kingdom

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A recent report has predicted that if the UK maintains its rate of technological advancement, driverless cars will be the principal traffic on roads by 2050.

A report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has predicted that in less than 40 years time, the UK's roads will be home to more driverless cars than any other type of transport. The institute demanded more action and funding from the Government and the motor industry to develop the technology needed for driverless car programmes.

Driverless cars will dominate the road by 2050

Driverless cars will dominate the road by 2050
The National Roads and Motorists' Association/flickr

The report found that currently 95% of all crashes happen due to driver error, suggesting that it makes sense to pursue efforts to phase out human involvement in driving vehicles.

The perks of developing this sort of technology are also huge, with estimates that the overall UK economic benefit could be as much as 51 billion a year due to fewer accidents, improved productivity and increased trade.

The IMechE report found that it will take at least ten years to get the technology onto the production line and a further 15 years for the majority of cars on the road to be changed. Predictions are that all cars will be "highly automated" by 2040 and fully driverless roughly ten years after that.

But the institute also warned that developing these programmes is, on its own, not enough. Insurance companies will need to rethink their policies and the Department of Transport will need to ensure road signs and markings are up to date.

Earlier this month the Government announced that it would invest 20 million in eight driverless car projects across the country. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin claimed the technology will "profoundly change the way we travel" by reducing accidents, helping traffic flow and making it easier to travel by car.

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