The first part of the title sounds futuristic doesn’t it? The second part not so much so, at least if you have to travel within France with an autonomous car. Back in 1907, when Henry Ford launched the chain production of his mythical T Model, he expected success. He got a landslide. The car was so easy to drive and maintain that by the early 20s, most Americans were accustomed with it. For sure, one of the first success stories of mass consumption. Over a century later, cars are still very popular but there is another highway which has popped up in our daily life, the information highway. Wireless internet, smartphones and IoT are services that most of us already use regularly. The funny thing about both revolutions is that they are about to merge! Henry Ford would be pleased with the autonomous car we reckon.
So, can we expect motorways loaded of driverless motors? Possibly, yes and in the near future. First we were curious to review the impact for holiday homes with a focus in France as this is our area of expertise. So let’s review that but before you might ask, what is a driverless car and how does it work?
Driverless car, really?
Well, sort of! You have different categories of driverless cars. Full automation or assisted driving.
What is the difference you ask. Well, with one, all is automated and you can take control. With the other, you run the car and switch on the autopilot when needed. Easy! This is why there is a lot of focus right now across the automotive industry and beyond on the driverless car. The potential is huge and high tech companies which are totally new in this area are spending hefty money on such projects too. Google and Apple for a start. You will have heard of the highly publicised Google Car, well it is now called project Waymo.
Closer to the roads, Tesla Motors introduced a while back Autopilot. This feature allows you to switch on autonomous driving. You won’t be jumping in the back seat yet as this will only manage gear shifting, acceleration and braking. That is the start though, what is novel is that Autopilot will be made available on all Tesla Motors. Seeing how popular the manufacturer is in the US, the American legislation will probably allow such autonomous driving in far more states. Europe is following this closely anyway. Valeo have already launched such testing on French roads and beyond.
The impact for holiday home owners in France
France is one of the top countries in the world for holiday homes. The bulk of the owners are French and spend week-ends away in the countryside, when they can. With the autonomous car, this means that driving time can become leisure time. You could be relaxing while the car drives you to destination. This will probably boost the number of week-end trips. Now if you live in Britain and already own a holiday home in France, driving on the right side might not be a problem. But what if you are considering buying and are slightly nervous about driving in France, well that could be a pretty good option.
In the meantime, you could could try car sharing
France is also leading the way with car pooling and car sharing online services. You will have heard of Blablacar already. Well, some new players in that space are expanding abroad. One of them is Drivy. Any car owner can rent their motor privately and safely across France, Germany and Italy. They are soon coming to the UK so you could rent your car this way too. In the meantime, you can rent a car cheaply from your favorite holiday place in France. It won’t be autonomous but it will be the best car deal you can get in the meantime.