The UK automotive industry is constantly innovating, and in recent times, those innovations are arriving in the form of driverless cars. The driverless car industry is expected to grow significantly across the next few decades as more and more countries get involved in investing in these new vehicles.
The UK is aiming to spearhead this development, meaning that there are sure to be many new automotive recruitment opportunities in engineering, design and technological development. The Lutz Pathfinder is the first of these new cars to be completed, and can be driven on pavements and roads.
The UK is one of only three European countries to look at these unique vehicles, alongside Germany and Sweden. However, a review of the motoring law in Germany is required as driverless cars do not comply with it, whilst driverless car tests in Sweden need to take place in designated areas. Even in the USA, only four states have allowed trials. In the UK, however, trials are allowed to take place publicly, as long as they are covered by an insurance bond.
The first public trials of these cars have been announced for this summer. The trials will be undertaken with the assistance of a human driver to ensure safety. Smaller trials have already been undertaken in Milton Keynes and Coventry, with the BAE Wildcat, a driverless military jeep, being tested in Bristol. Over the next few years, more and more trials of different models of driverless car will be carried out in order to test out more options and environments for these vehicles. It is predicted that driverless cars will become commonplace by 2030 and these tests will help to make that prediction a reality.
However, studies highlight apprehension towards these vehicles. An online survey of 953 UK adults shows that 43% do not trust driverless cars. A study by SPA Future Thinking, of 1,200 UK adults, also showed 48% wouldn’t consider purchasing such a vehicle. 80% stated that steering wheels should be included in case the driver needs to take control. 18% also highlighted security concerns such as viruses and hacking. In today’s technologically advanced world, with many data and computer system breaches being made aware of, this is a concern that is certainly not unfounded and which automobile manufacturers will need to look at. The government, however, states that security policies will be outlined in 2018.
The future is certainly looking interesting for the British motor industry, and our automotive recruitment team predict that motor industry jobs, over the next few years, will have a focus on the research and development of these new cars. As more and more manufacturers get involved with the development of driverless cars, there will definitely be a movement towards hiring staff who can help to drive these developments forward.