If you have been keeping up with news stories surrounding the car industry as of late, you might have read all about autonomous cars. You might even be thinking about purchasing one for yourself.
Autonomous cars are vehicles that should theoretically, drive themselves without any interaction from the driver.
They’ve been in development for a number of years but have only recently started to enter the market in a big way. So, should you buy one?
This is certain a point that you need to consider. First, it’s important to realize that autonomous vehicles aren’t cheap in any sense. Experts suggest that this tech will, currently, add at least ten thousand onto the market price of the vehicle.
Manufacturers claim this is due to the complex nature of the tech and the difficulty they have installing it. Regardless, rather than paying 50K for a car, you’re looking at 60 or even 70. You will need to decide whether the possibility of feeling the car steer itself is worth the extra cost and if you can afford it.
Don’t forget, with car loans, you don’t have to pay the entire cost of the new car upfront, and this can make things a lot easier.
There are now quite a few autonomous cars on the market or as the media puts it, semi-autonomous, such as the Tesla Model S. This saloon can change lanes, adjust speed to suit traffic conditions and parallel park with the click of a button.
Or, there’s the Volvo XC-90. Equipped with similar features to the Tesla Model S, it will also stop if it senses moving traffic in front of you. As such, Volvo are keen to live up to their reputation for safety. The good news is that the tech is equipped with several of the models, but you will still need to pay a little extra for it.
Good question and the answer is no, the cars currently on the market are not fully autonomous. None of them are.
Though producers are certainly keen to change that in the coming years. Volvo in particular plan to release a car that will allow you to watch a movie in the back seat while it drives itself. But we’re not there yet.
Right now, the plan is to get these cars on the market by next year, but it’s debatable whether that will happen due to issues in the testing phase. As such, we could still be a few years away from vehicles that truly drive themselves.
Tesla say that driving using their autonomous car you shouldn’t ever take your hands off the wheel. Indeed, they even have sensors that will shut down the motors if your hands are off the wheel for too long.
As such, the benefit of self-driving cars at the moment is that it takes a little less pressure off you as a driver. While you still have to pay attention to the road, you can take comfort in knowing that a little tech is guiding you on your journey.
So, is it time to buy an autonomous car? You may want to wait a little longer for the tech to be worth the price tag.