First self-driving car tested on a public road in Europe
The first test drive in which over 50 semi-autonomous cars drove in columns of six on the A2 motorway, independently adjusting their speeds and distances from one another, has been completed. Never before have semi- autonomous cars driven amongst normal traffic on a public road in Europe. The test was an initiative of insurance broker and risk consultant Aon, Business Lease Nederland, Royal HaskoningDHV and Prodrive Training.
This test represents a first step in assessing the benefits and risks of highly autonomous cars. Vincent Peeters, Managing Director of Business Lease Nederland says: ‘Most traffic accidents are due to human error. The development of increasingly intelligent technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assistant reduce the risk of traffic accidents. We are therefore very proud to be the first in Europe to carry out a test using these intelligent vehicle systems on a public road. This brings us yet another step closer to improving traffic safety.’
Investing in technology saves lives
The largest obstacle to introducing self-driving cars on public roads is now European legislation and privacy laws. Peeters expects us to see the first fully autonomous car on the road within a few years. ‘As well as the fact that self-driving cars improve road safety, the driver-assistive technologies also enable you to deal with your mail during the journey, or prepare for a meeting, without even needing to touch the steering wheel.’
In order to ensure that the self-driving car is more than a future dream, together with Aon, the leasing company is investigating the possibility of providing its customers with these driver-assistive technologies for free. ‘As a leasing company, we look beyond simply providing a car. These technologies make drivers safer on the road, which not only saves lives but also money. This is why we are working on further developing the self-driving car,’ explains Peeters.