The UK isn't ready for driverless technology, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry.
The IMI is a UK-based professional association for individuals working in the automative and retail motor industry. It also claims to be the "authoritative voice" of the sector since 1920, and it wants the industry to put the breaks on driverless technology and instead focus on training industry individuals to understand the technology.
A recent government review indicated the UK might update road rules to allow for driverless cars on the roads in 2015, and these rules could include major changes to the Highway Code. IMI thinks the government is moving too fast though, and that the service and repair sector "does not yet have the skills and infrastructure" to deal with the technology.
In response to the review, Steve Nash, CEO of IMI, said the following: "Burying your head in the sand will not work if you wish to continue operating effectively in the modern service and repair industry. Businesses must begin investing in training on the latest vehicle technologies in order to meet future demands."
Nash emphasised that driverless cars might become a fad, but their development could lead to driver aid and driver safety systems on modern vehicles, and thus the skills required to work on them will still need to be raised. IMI also pointed out that Members of Parliament are doubtful and confused about driverless cars.
A Dods survey apparently showed that almost half of MPs were against further investment in autonomous vehicle research. But that's not all: 42 per cent of MPs were unsure of the impact autonomous vehicles would have on road safety, and 51 per cent were unsure of the impact that autonomous vehicles would have on the insurance industry.
The IMI claimed that the MPs confusion - in conjunction with no licence to practise currently required to work in the industry - could affect the automative industry's reputation, especially if it doesn't step up and take the lead.
The IMI said it is campaigning for a licence to practise for the sector, because it would put standards in place and level the playing field for those who invest in training.