According to the CEO of Highways England, the sight of classic cars on British roads could be none existent.
This is because of the rise of autonomous cars which could, over the next 30 years, dominate the roads of Britain. Jim O’Sullivan fears that older, classic cars will not be able to communicate with the technology in these new self-driving vehicles.
The government has already announced plans to review current driving legislation ahead of fully autonomous cars hitting the road. Over the next three years, obstacles opposing self-driving cars will be looked at, with the government looking to find answers to such questions as: who is the ‘driver’ or person responsible for a driverless car? How will road users be protected from the risks of autonomous vehicles? And is there a new legislation to tackle possible tampering or interference with the technology?
It’s expect that the technology will be here in Britain by 2021 with many welcoming self-driving cars hoping it could reduce delays by up to 40 percent, and making roads safer by getting rid of human error, which Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, has claimed is responsible for more than 85 percent of British road accidents.
So what will this mean for classic cars?
If there are human driver restrictions and limits, it may be that classic vehicles are no longer possible on motorways and other major roads. However, they may still be enjoyed on B-roads, at classic car events and within personal garages off-road.
The bottom line is that we just don’t know. Until autonomous cars influx our roads and new driving legislation is set we won’t know what changes are definite. It may be that some classic cars could be modified to incorporate the new autonomous technology.
But we’ll just have to wait and see!