Road to somewhere | Breakthrough Funding

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Road to somewhere

Electric vehicles and driverless cars move up a gear as innovators press ahead with their plans to revolutionise our highways.

Two exciting developments have occurred in the motoring world this week, both of which could have far-reaching effects on the major transport challenges of our time.

Environmentally friendly travel is something we need to tackle fairly urgently, while autonomous vehicles, although not essential, remain an absolutely captivating prospect for engineers and sci-fi fans alike. Recent leaps forward in both fields are providing a tantalising glimpse of the future and, hopefully, inspiring our boffins and geniuses to push the boundaries even further.

The viability of electric motoring as a serious, long-distance option took a big leap forward when German manufacturers BMW Group, Daimler AG and Volkswagen Group teamed up with Ford Group to announce a significant new project in Europe. By the end of the year, the collaborative plans to open 20 high-power charging stations on major roads in Germany, Austria and Norway – with a view to introducing 400 stations by 2020.

Each station will offer optimum charging times and cater for all brands of electric car. Whether there will also be a Burger King and one of those machines where you can grab cuddly toys with a mechanical hand remains to be seen, but we live in hope…

Looking to the USA, we heard that self-driving car company Waymo intends to do away with safety drivers in its vehicles and start offering properly autonomous driving experiences in Arizona over the next few months. It’s a bold move that screams confidence in their tech, but are you ready to put your life in the hands of a machine?

Anyone who has ever taught a teenager to drive will have already developed a way to cope with the white knuckles, cold sweats and sudden braking, so perhaps parents should be the first test group…

 Most importantly, will these leaps of faith prompt British engineers and manufacturers to follow suit? If you’re working on autonomous vehicles, electric cars or other innovative transport technologies, get in touch on 0800 772 0800 – we’d love to hear your story.

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