states where driverless cars are legal
Meet the US states where driverless cars are legal

Constantly connected

"If there's a traffic jam on the way to work, your car will wake you up via a phone alert and suggest an alternative route or an earlier start."

We've seen endless articles about fleets of driverless cars, blah blah blah, reduced emissions, blah blah, and fewer road accidents. That's all fine and important. But the real interest, outside of the powerpoint presentations for politicians, is the symbiotic relationship between your car and your phone − and whatever else in your home that's connected to the internet.

Manufacturers want you to be constantly engaged in a seamless ballroom dance with your car.

If there's a traffic jam on the way to work, your car will wake you up via a phone alert and suggest an alternative route or an earlier start.

If you've got a big trip planned for tomorrow and your car is sitting in a driveway low on energy, then it will take itself to one of the many automated charging points in your area.

The fridge is empty, you're stuck at work and you've got a dinner party planned for that night? Your car will go and pick up your online shopping, presumably with the aid of a human loading the car up − we're not at Transformer stage quite yet, and even if we were, you wouldn't use your multi-million pound gadget to pick up a bag of courgettes and some asparagus from Walmart.

Tech manufacturers want your car to automate not just the driving but the experience too.

Your car should sense your mood when you step in and change the lighting and music accordingly.

The route to your destination changes depending on whether or not you fancy taking in a view, or getting to point B as fast as possible. You should be lathered with suggestions for local eateries and interesting places to visit.

This is the driverless car tech-companies envisage. The real driverless car rivalry will come not in the car technology, but which system is going to act as your in-car butler - Android or iPhone?