Carmakers such as Jaguar Land Rover are planning vehicles which drive themselves and could put an end to deaths on the roads - but the Government must do far more to ensure the UK is a world leader in adopting the technology, according to MPs.
A Commons inquiry said the vehicles had the potential to dramatically cut road deaths, or reduce them to nothing.
MPs issued the dramatic prediction after considering evidence from manufacturers including Midlands-based Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which has major plants in Castle Bromwich and Solihull.
Cars which drive themselves might sound like science fiction but JLR say they could have vehicles available within 10 years.
In evidence to the inquiry, JLR said: “Jaguar Land Rover believes Intelligent Mobility encompasses a range of opportunities, for the industry as a whole, from self-driving cars to driver aids such as parking assist and to connectivity to other platforms driving other mobility services for customers.”
The firm explained: “Our vision is to offer a choice of an engaged or autonomous drive.
“Driving in the future will still be fun. Ultimately this could mean the car could drive itself if the driver chooses, and have intelligent systems that can be adjusted for a more engaging and involved drive.
“A Jaguar Land Rover Intelligent vehicle will become a reality within the next 10 years.”
But in a new report, the Commons Transport Committee said the UK needed a “visionary strategy” to make the most of new motoring technology.
Laws and regulations governing car insurance needed to be reformed to make it clear how the introduction of self-driving cars will affect the liabilities of drivers, manufacturers and insurers, the MPs said.
Britain must also work with the EU to develop common standards which will help UK manufacturers develop products suitable for export.
The report’s authors include Redditch MP Karen Lumley (Con).
Committee Chair Louise Ellman MP said: “The public need to be sure that new types of vehicles are safe to travel on our roads.
“The Government must do more to prepare for a transition period where manual, semi-autonomous and driverless vehicles will share UK roads.
“Transport Ministers must explain how different types of vehicles will be certified and tested, how drivers will be trained and how driving standards will be updated, monitored and enforced.”