Today, I want to talk about autonomous vehicles, and the impact they're going to have on our Travel Safety. I believe that within the next decade, we are going to see a fundamental shift in the way that we use our vehicles.
In fact, I don't believe that we're going to own vehicles, I don't believe we're going to drive vehicles; I think they're going to delivered to us as a service.
Very recently, Waymo - the Google-owned autonomous vehicle company - released a vehicle that was able to do what is called Level 4 driving; that means it does not need a human to be in the car at all to drive it. That is a fundamental step towards autonomous vehicles - or Level 5 as they call it.
What's The Impact On Travel Safety?
Well, two things. The first is on our personal safety, and the second is in and around traffic management. Let's look at the first one - personal safety.
At the moment, if you arrive in an unknown area, you go to find a taxi, and you get into a vehicle with somebody that you don't know - you don't know what they're going to do, what route they're going to take you on - there are a whole bunch of unknowns unless you have a driver that you know.
With autonomous vehicles, you'll be able to get into a vehicle that has no other person in it at all, therefore increasing your safety and, because of the way it will work, it will take you on predictable routes.
This is all great, but what about traffic management? One of the challenges that we have at the moment is in an emergency, in a situation in a big city, traffic and travel can be a real problem. But with autonomous vehicles, we can stop new traffic getting into difficult scenarios.
We can make sure that vehicles that are already in an existing area can be moved out of the way to allow emergency services through, all improving our own safety.
Now there's a big caveat; what about hacking? Any of the solutions I'm talking about could be hacked. We're a long way from that, and security is progressing very nicely to ensure these things are protected.
I want to give you a vision for the future - smart cities, safe travel; autonomous vehicles are going to be a critical part of that over the next decade.