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It is widely accepted that driving is becoming increasingly automated. Indeed, we already have self- parking cars. (It’s not often that Jeremy Clarkson from BBC Top Gear is lost for words!)

According to a special article in The Economist, VW does not envisage a fully automated car within the next 20 years… but Google does! The internet company expects its driverless car technology to be ready in five years. Optimistic? Yes – but it’s probable that cars which self-drive will be mass produced in the 2020s.

Renault-Nissan’s boss, Carlos Ghosn, is also optimistic, although with a longer timescale: “I don’t see any impossible obstacle. I think this is something you are going to see on the horizon of 2020 because the technologies are getting mature.”

Driverless cars create a world of scepticism and opportunity… safety, cost and environmental savings for a start. The World Health Organisation states that 1.24m people are killed every year globally. An automated car would stick to speed limits, reducing crashes and the huge medical costs that go with them.

Of course there are many, many issues to work through, as discussed in The Economist’s report but look out – driverless cars are on their way!

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