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Experts predict we are four years away from self-driving cars

Experts predict we are four years away from self-driving cars

Car experts have predicted that cars will be driving themselves on the roads by 2017.

Larry Burns is a former vice-president of General Motors and now advising Google on its self-driving car project. In a talk about the future of the car in Adelaide, Australia, he said the driverless car technology would be a reality in just four years.

Burns said: "Most of the true leaders in this field say by 2017-2018 the car will be able to drive itself, anywhere, any time without any human input.

"If we have that proven then the real challenge will be regulations and liability and ultimately consumers getting used to the new system."

Burns believes the self-driving car will be popular for commuters but the biggest appeal will be increased safety.

He explained: "Basically the car makes two simple decisions simultaneously, 'How fast should I go and which way should I steer?'"

"Once you get the driver out of the loop the vehicle becomes much, much safer. Traffic safety experts say about 90 per cent of crashes are due to human error."

The biggest hurdle for consumers is expected to be the change in design. Burns predicts that car design will change to reflect their reformed purpose.

"If cars don't crash we can now tailor their design to the typical trip we take, which is one and two person," said Burns. "That allows us to have a much smaller vehicle, which is much more energy-efficient, space efficient."

"I think it's going to be very compelling, I think it's going to grow to a very large scale over a couple of decades."

by: Danielle Bagnall