What are driverless cars?

  • How do driverless cars work?
  • When will it affect me?
  • Should I care?
  • How do driverless cars work?
  • When will it affect me?
  • Should I care?

Driverless cars are vehicles that are capable of driving for you.

How do they work?

Driverless cars are fitted with an array of cameras and sensors that are responsible for a number of functions including keeping track of other vehicles, detecting pedestrians and identifying the extremities of the appropriate lane or road.

Some driverless cars are also capable of wirelessly communicating with each other in order to best navigate any upcoming obstacles in the road.

All of this information is then gathered and interpreted by the car’s central computer, which operates the driving controls. This, along with an advanced on-board GPS system, allows the vehicle to safely navigate itself around with no human input.

Looking for more jargon-busting motoring meanings? Head over to the Parkers Car Glossary page and take a look at our other definitions.

When can I get my hands on one?

Fully driverless cars haven’t made it to the market yet and estimates as to when they will vary wildly. While some manufacturers suggest that they could be available in the next 10 years, a number of technological, legal and ethical issues mean it could actually take over 20 years.

If you can’t wait that long, though, American car manufacturer Tesla has been building semi-autonomous cars for a number of years. The vehicles in question can perform an array of driving functions autonomously, such as driving and changing lanes on motorways and dual carriageways.

They can also detect and attempt to avoid impending accidents without any input from the driver.

Similar to

Autonomous cars, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control (ACC), park assist

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