Production of driver-less vehicles such as Google’s Driver-less Car have became some of the greatest technological advances so far, however a storm cloud overhead could delay the advances and productions. These new vehicles rely on a constant broadband connection in order to run their sophisticated in-car operating systems, however it has been discovered that 9% of the UK’s roads have absolutely no 3G coverage at all.
Although many mobile phone users are already aware of patchy 3G service across UK roads and railways, statistics show that railway passengers are without 3G or 4G 28% of the time, whereas motorway drivers are without 3G or 4G 24% of the time and A-Roads 33% of the time. Although not important to be able to activate your mobile phone internet in the car, it is vital to have constant signal in new vehicles are heavily reliant on the signal to function safely – especially if no one is driving!
Research by Ofcom has discovered that on UK roads, network provider EE only provided 4G access 50% of the time whilst allowing 95% 2G and 3G coverage. This was closely followed by Three (3) where 3G and 4G could be accessed 92% of the time. Vodaphone and 02 gave very poor service, providing between 65 and 67% coverage.
Railway passengers still had the best signal with EE, suffering only 5.7% downtime opposed to Vodaphone with 6.4%.
The statistics aren’t looking promising so far, however further statistics are to be collected later in the year. It will be required for constant signal across every UK road in order to allow the newly developed cars to function, however this has most definitely been an issue taken for granted by car manufacturers.