The Economist magazine has a report on the future of the car containing useful updates on powertrain development, and also a section on driverless cars, a recent enthusiasm of the Economists writers in the light of technology demonstrations by Google and a number of car manufacturers.
Driverless cars could prolong driving by older people, and reduce accidents, insurance and medical costs, and congestion. But decades of road safety legislation would have to be over-turned before cars could roam the streets without a qualified and sober driver at the controls. VW’s research chief is skeptical, not expecting a fully automated car within twenty years.
I share this view. The benefits of robot chauffeurs do not seem sufficiently great to overcome the barriers to introduction.