Nov 2, 2015
A new report from car manufacturer Ford has found that Britain is lagging severely behind some of our European counterparts when it comes to including automatic technology in our cars.
The report found that only 19% of Ford vehicles sold last year were fitted with parking assistance sensors in 2014, as opposed to 33% across the rest of Europe, with Switzerland’s figures hitting a continent wide high of 74%.
This news comes off of the back of Toyota’s Head of R&D Seiji Sano’s comments that the UK “risks falling behind” the world with regards to technology if we don’t invest more in infrastructure, off the back of the UK’s first Hydrogen car powered station being opened next month.
The British government has been doing its part to reverse these trends by offering a £20m grant to companies who can offer the most progressive technology in advancing driverless cars, following the legalising of on-road driverless car testing in the UK back in June.
In addition to automatic parking assistance, progressive cruise control- which allows your car to maintain a fixed distance between the next cars no matter the speed- and automatic lane keeping were also poorly received by the British public, providing a headache of stubbornness for the government and car manufacturers to overcome.
The truth of the situation is that the British public may simply have to learn how to adapt. In March, a conference of experts organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) prophesied that Britain’s roads could be almost entirely automatic by as soon as 2030, with drivers needing only to program a destination into their cars to travel.
As apart of this revolution, the study produced by the SMMT speculates that as much as £51bn could be generated by the automatic car industry in the UK along with potentially 320,000 jobs.
To this point, UK Business Secretary Sayid Javid has said: “To boost productivity Britain will need to capitalise on new technologies like driverless vehicles, securing high-skilled jobs for those who want to work hard and get on, and contributing to a more prosperous future for the whole of the country.”
It’s said that a little bit of stubbornness is a good thing- a refusal to accept substandard ideas. However, a small step can quickly become a giant leap and the great British public are facing a truth we can either accept quickly or slowly: cars have changed. The automatic car revolution is here and we can either embrace it or watch it pass us by.
To see the full article in The Telegraph see here.