If there’s one place where technology seems to be moving faster and faster it’s in the world of motoring – as evidenced at the Intelligent Transport Systems Congress in Stockholm this year. The congress sees around 2,500 delegates from around the world gather to discuss high-tech transport systems and how they should be integrated in to daily life. Not a thrilling subject for the average joe but prick up your ears; this is the event at which a totally car crash free future has been unveiled.

In the UK where nearly 250,000 injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to fatalities the promise of a world in which driving is perfectly safe can only be looked forward to eagerly. But just how do the boffins at Stockholm intend to achieve such an incredible feat? And is it really a possibility?

A German company is reportedly working as we speak on new technology which will make human error a thing of the past. Ibeo’s invention, already being touted around several major car brands, will allow manufacturers to construct cars which are wholly able to drive themselves. Based on laser sensors the product has already been tested in a 60 mile trial in the US without a driver. Meanwhile another product closer to being launched is Safespot. Showcased in Stockholm this incredible product has the capability to send messages to other cars in the area meaning that should a driver find himself in a sticky situation others would be immediately warned and thus able to avoid danger.

Already coming under fire from those concerned about living in a so called ‘Big Brother Nation’ is the proposed introduction of road pricing. The scheme, which has been ruled out by the UK for at least the next five years but is already on its way to fruition in Holland, will ask drivers to essentially pay-per-drive, potentially using an in-car touch screen device, one of which was shown at the ITS Congress. However while road pricing may be anathema to many no one could argue with the other features which are found on the system which should retail at around £300 but may be fitted ‘as standard’ in some cars.

As well as giving useful information to drivers about the next train running from the city they’re heading for or even the nearest available parking space, motorists would be warned when they neared a special area such as the Greater London Low Emission Zone, assisting in avoiding both fines and the stresses of every day driving. But that’s not all. When it comes to safety the same box can detect other nearby cars which could endanger the driver, warning them of, for example, a car approaching on the wrong side of the road.

Self driving cars and knowing what’s around every corner may sound the death knell for driving for fun and will no doubt rile the Jeremy Clarksons of this world but nobody could argue that the possibility of safer roads is something that we can all look forward to.

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