Driverless vehicles are coming to the U.K. in the next three to four years, the country's Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said on Monday (Oct. 1).
According to a report in Reuters, citing comments made at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Grayling said that even though there will be truly driverless cars on U.K. streets within that time frame, there will still be a need for diesel cars for many years to come.
“We are now rapidly approaching the era of the driverless car,” Grayling said. “I expect the first truly driverless cars to be on our roads within three or four years.” The government official said he was committed to ending the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040. "Newer diesel cars today are cleaner than ever before, and of course there will be a role for diesel for many years to come as technology evolves," he added.
The comments on the part of the U.K. official come as many car manufacturers are including more tech inside the cabins of their cars. BMW is just one example: In early September, at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018, the car manufacturer announced its own in-car digital personal assistant.
“BMW’s personal assistant gets to know you over time with each of your voice commands and by using your car,” said BMW’s Senior Vice President of Digital Products and Services Dieter May. “It gets better and better every single day.”
Here’s how it works: Once the driver is in a compatible car, they’ll be able to make voice commands to control all of the vehicle’s standard features, such as navigation and climate control. They can even check the tire pressure, oil level and other engine settings, and learn more about their vehicle. As they use the assistant, it will get to know them better, remember their preferred settings and even suggest changes over time.