*This blog post was written by Rachel Jensen on behalf of Stratstone, , the UK’s leading automotive retailer for new cars.*

In almost any futuristic sci-fi novel or film, one of the most common tropes that turns up time and time again is the self-driving car. One reason for the nation’s obsession may be the fact that this type of vehicle would be incredibly useful on the road, and could the answer to many common driving problems. In fact, government research statistics have proven that well over 95 percent of vehicle crashes are due to driver error. Self-driving cars could obviously help reduce this percentage.

This is one of the main reasons that manufacturers have been pushing to create the perfect self-driving, mass production vehicle. Yet despite the fact that these vehicles could help reduce accidents, the population is showing concerns over this technology.

This post will break down the pros and cons of these vehicles, and how self-driving cars could change the world we live in.


Fewer Accidents

Traffic accidents are bound to happen, but the chance of one can be significantly reduced if the human error factor is removed. If a computer controlled how a vehicle acted, there would be less chance of error, even if neighbouring vehicles were driven by humans. Now imagine how much less still the chance of accident would be if all vehicles on the road were driven by computers. There would be virtually no “emergencies” to avoid. The amount of traffic deaths could be greatly reduced.

No Distractions

As previously stated, some of the biggest driving risks are due to human error. This is because there are a variety of things that can affect a driver’s skill level, such as fatigue, emotions and distractions.

A computer won’t be affected by these issues, and will thus reduce the risk for both vehicle occupants and surrounding pedestrians.

Less Traffic

One of the worst parts of a daily commute is the traffic. Higher traffic volumes, impatient people and slower drivers are all issues that can lead to long waiting times. This consequently wastes petrol, and can potentially be damaging to vehicles, due to the constant need to stop-start.

Self-driving cars are able to perform a technique called ‘platooning’. This is where they drive close together, but keep enough of a distance for braking space, whilst still remaining efficient. Commute times would become quicker, and highway capacity would increase alongside the broader use of these vehicles.

Easier Parking

Another unpopular aspect of driving is parking. From getting into tricky spaces, to spending hours trying to find somewhere suitable to pull up, a frustrating amount of time is wasted during this process. Car manufacturers recognise this, and already there is basic technology available that assists drivers with this common annoyance.

However, imagine what could be achieved when self-driving, and therefore self-parking cars, are finally perfected.

Before you even enter a car park, the computer could detect if there are any spaces, if your vehicle can fit into them, and then go one step further by simply guiding itself into the space.

Transportation For All Ages & Conditions

Many people aren’t able to drive because of age, disability or other reason. This restricts their transport options to public transport, a taxi or walking. Driverless cars don’t require the skill set an average driver normally needs, providing greater flexibility for those who may find driving more challenging.



As with any new form of technology, there are high costs to take into consideration. Each vehicle requires sensors, power, specialist engineering and computers to actually work. Each of these elements don’t come cheap, which may make these vehicles difficult for some people to afford, at least during the initial years of driverless vehicle sales.

These elevated costs also don’t factor in breakdown and repair costs, and self-driving vehicles will also need to be kept in garages, which is another potential issue. The amount of money required to keep and maintain a self-driving vehicle could quickly add up.


In the 21st century, the presence of hackers has become a worrying subject. We live in a time where electronic devices can be controlled from anywhere in the world, so there’s little wonder why people are worried about cars operated by computers.

Though the average citizen is unlikely to be a target of a hacker attack, security is always a hot issue.

Data Collection

Another issue that drivers may have is the distribution of their private information. If a car is being controlled by a computer, then it may also be gathering sensitive private to the driver, perhaps about their activities while being piloted to their destination.

Lack Of Control

Most drivers are sceptical of giving up control of a vehicle, even when it’s to let someone else drive his or her car. Trusting a computer to safely get you to your destination at all times could be a big ask at first.

Also, those who enjoy driving, even with a bit of traffic sprinkled in would have to let the computer take over. A self-driving car would simply require you to input a destination, and the car would do the rest for you. As a result, the joy of physically driving would be completely removed. Vehicles would become glorified taxis, and that’s something that may be too much for enthusiasts.

Of course, there’s the possibility of an “override” function that would allow drivers to resume control of the vehicle either at a time of his or her choosing, or when not in traffic. This may be enough to appease enthusiasts.

Safety and Regulations

Although the technology still requires a lot of work before it’s mass production-ready, one of the biggest hurdles that needs to be overcome is how the tech. will be regulated.

What happens if there’s an accident? Which vehicle is to blame? Will the legal driving age be affected? Will people still need to take driving tests?

There can’t be grey areas when it comes to legislation for these vehicles, so don’t expect to see driverless cars on the road until regulations are firmly in place.

Self-Driving Cars, Will We Ever See Them?

The simple answer is yes, but it may not be for a significant amount of time. It’s exciting technology, so automakers will be sure to do what they can to bring these cars to the road, but there are obvious obstacles to overcome during the process.

*This blog post was written by Rachel Jensen on behalf of Stratstone, , the UK’s leading automotive retailer for new cars.*