Sit back and relax: While Google may be the best-known driverless vehicle on the road today, there are many others out there. (Top left) GM testing their mini-van; (top right) A driverless mini-bus has been operating in France since 2004; (bottom left) A four-passenger driverless car in  La Rochelle, France; and (bottom right) An eight-passenger driverless shuttle began operation in Lyon, France, last year. *AFP photos
Sit back and relax: While Google may be the best-known driverless vehicle on the road today, there are many others out there. (Top left) GM testing their mini-van; (top right) A driverless mini-bus has been operating in France since 2004; (bottom left) A four-passenger driverless car in La Rochelle, France; and (bottom right) An eight-passenger driverless shuttle began operation in Lyon, France, last year. *AFP photos

In the not-to-distant future, drivers’ tests will become obsolete.

That’s because driverless cars will become the norm — not overnight — but by 2050 it is expected almost all vehicles won’t need a human to help navigate them along the roads.

If you are 40 or younger, you will probably own a driverless car in your lifetime.

That will mean seniors who no longer see as well or have lost reaction speed, won’t have to give up their cars.

For Bermuda, tourists will be able to rent cars and not have to worry about getting into accidents as the vehicles will already be pre-programmed to traverse the island’s roads safely.

Earlier this week, Google announced it plans on having a minimum of 100 autonomous cars. The two-seat vehicles will have a top speed of 40k, which would make them a future consideration for Bermuda.

Just how big a deal is the Google car?

One General Motors exec told Bloomberg News that “Google could become a serious competitive threat” to his company.

The Google vehicles have so far logged more than 800,000 miles and have yet to be in an accident in which they were at fault.

Mark Reuss, the product-development chief at GM, said there will be no rush to driverless cars, but, according to Bloomberg, itwill be a “creep”. 

In 2013, GM unveiled its ‘Super Cruise technology’, which allows for semi-automated driving, which includes braking and speed control and hands-off steering lane following.

GM is also developing an autonomous vehicle in China.

But GM has been working on developing a driverless vehicle over the last decade, but they are not alone.

France

France has been a leader in this area with several types of driverless vehicles debuting on their roads.

Last year, the city of Lyon showed off its eight -passenger shuttle.

In 2012, La Rochelle, France unveiled two driverless CityMobil cars with big glass windows.

But even prior to that, in 2004, a driverless minibus was put on the road in France.

Egil Juliussen, an analyst at HIS Automotive, expects that almost all cars by 2050 will be self-driving.