If you’re anything like us then you love technology and are always on the lookout for the latest gadget to add to your automated home, but thanks to technology our cars are getting smarter and could even become driverless. But how close is this to becoming a reality?

Well with motorway trials for driverless cars set for 2019 and the Government’s plan to become a leader in autonomous tech the answer is that we could autonomous cars a lot sooner than most people think. The government has already put in place a raft of changes with a proposed Modern Transport Bill as well as changes to the Highway Code and insurance expected in this summer.

We’re already at the stage of assisted driving with modern cars benefitting from cameras, radars and sensors to help avoid hazards in the road. And cars already have systems in place that can control steering, acceleration and braking but they do require the driver to keep their hands on the wheel at all times.

2018 – Self-driving
If the proposed changes go ahead and the Modern Transport Bill is approved then in 2018 we could see hands-off self-driving being allowed on motorways with drivers still responsible. Drivers will be able to take their hands off the wheel for periods up to 3 minutes in length after which time the car will warn them to place their hands back on the wheel.

2020 – 2024 – Automated driving
At the start of the next decade we should start to see big changes in automated driving with sections of motorways where full automated driving will be allowed. The car will be able to take complete control allowing the driver to read a book, catch up on their email or watch their favourite programme. The automated driving systems will also aid drivers in everyday situations helping with hazard detection and avoidance.

2025 – Autonomous driving
Based on the current advancements and testing it’s expected that by 2025 we should start to see cars that are able to fully drive themselves from the start of the journey right through to the end destination. They’ll be able to navigate through cities, towns and on motorways and communicate wirelessly with other vehicles to make decisions on journey times and traffic.

Car Manufacturers
All of the top manufacturers appear to be looking into autonomous driving at some level and some of the big manufacturers aim to have autonomous cars in production by the year 2021 with Volvo looking to have its cars ready by 2018. Volvo was also the first to say that it will accept liability if one of its autonomous cars crashes when driving itself. Volvo has also been linked to an investment with Uber so in the not too distant future your Uber could be an autonomous car.