If you work in the delivery industry you no doubt spend a lot of your day getting in and out of your vehicle. Imagine a world, though, in which you don’t have to panic about parallel parking in a really tight spot because your vehicle smoothly parks itself in a bay. Imagine how much faster and less stressful it would be to get all your courier loads delivered! You wouldn’t have to waste any time trying to manoeuvre your van, which means you’d always make it on time to get the packages where they have to go. Sound too good to be true?
Well, believe it or not, this might actually be a reality as early as 2021. For now, it’s driverless cars that are scheduled to hit the roads at that time, but who knows? Very soon, this technology could encompass all types of automobiles – including those used for courier loads.
Making Driving a Walk in the “Park”
As part of the Government’s initiative, Business Minister Richard Harrington is inviting companies to bid for £30 million of funding to develop self-driving automobiles for the UK’s roads. A significant part of this amount, up to £5 million, has been specially earmarked to support projects creating and testing autonomous parking technology. The funding is being sponsored through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Meridian, the Government’s hub for testing new advancements in this domain.
About this investment, Richard Harrington said that, ‘self-driving vehicles have the potential to revolutionise the way we move people and goods across the UK.’ He believes the funding “will bring self-driving vehicles one step closer to becoming a normal feature on UK roads and could, in time, make learning to parallel park a thing of the past.’ Now doesn’t that sound good!
Accelerating into the Future
The timeline for this project is quite ambitious, with the aim of having this invention up and running within three years’ time. This is an important aspect of the Government’s forward-thinking Industrial Strategy, to invest in and shape the design, development and manufacture of the transport system of the future. It’s an exciting prospect for the industry, as it could be the start of a revolutionary transformation. For all we know, in a couple of years, people may not even have to get a driving licence, and the ‘drivers’ of cars and lorries might just have to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
It’s incredible to think how much science and technology has changed the way we travel over the past few decades. The next time you’re struggling to park on a crowded city road in order to drop off some courier loads, you can take heart with the thought that your parking woes may soon be over. Hopefully, beyond 2021, all you may need to do is driver to the listed address with your courier loads and nip inside to drop them off while your van or car parks itself…
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier loads in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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