Internet and soon-to-be automotive giant Google has been working on self-driving cars for years. The autonomous vehicles have clocked more than 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometres) of self driving in the United States, and could soon be seen in the Southern Hemisphere before long, too.
Australia in particular could benefit from autonomous cars, with our country being one of the sixth biggest piece of landmass in the world. Google believes the 94 per cent of car accidents that happen because of human error can be wiped out entirely.
With many novated lease holders keen to find safety in their new purchases, self-driving seems like a natural progression.
And while the cars that have been extensively tested so far have been tiny in size, the US firm believes it can roll out the concept to help even more people, and has teamed up with Chrysler to make the first self-driving minivan.
— 500 Startups (@500Startups) May 4, 2016
Helping people with mobility issues
Information on the van has so far been scarce, though a press release from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) shines some light on the project. Essentially, the technology put into a minivan is expected to help more people jump onboard the autonomous car craze when it does begin – particularly those with mobility issues.
Self-driving cars are predicted to be game changers to people who cannot drive on their own.
People with disabilities have, in the past, had little help in getting onto the road and living a normal lifestyle. Technology has stepped in to a point, but self-driving cars are predicted to be game changers to people who cannot drive on their own.
The minivan design could provide more access for those who need wheelchairs or other equipment to help them move, meaning they can access their vehicles (and the rest of Australia) on their own volition – a great development if there ever was one.
Should all go as expected, Australia’s 4.3 million disabled people, as the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts there to be, could benefit hugely.
However, it’s not only Google that is moving ahead with autonomous driving. More than 30 manufacturers have self-driving projects in the pipeline, with Volvo ready to unleash its model on the public as early as next year, according to engadget.
Would you use your novated lease to buy a self-driving car?