Wouldn’t it be cool to see autonomous vehicles driving on South African roads? But due to a few factors, it might be unlikely that autonomous cars will be on South African roads in the near future.

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Here are some obstacles posed by the South African roads to autonomous cars.

Bad Conditions Of South African Roads

It’s a sad truth that South African roads aren’t in the best conditions. In order for autonomous cars to drive properly, certain technologies and road specifications need to be in place. Based on the current improvement and maintenance rates of South African roads, it seems unlikely that the roads would be brought up to autonomous vehicle standards anytime soon.

But it’s not only the physical conditions of South African roads that pose difficulties to the proper functioning of autonomous vehicles. Extreme weather conditions could also make it difficult for autonomous vehicles to function properly on South African roads when they rely on cameras and sensors to ensure they stay in their lanes and follow the road rules. Improvements on visibility and safety measures will have to take place before it would be possible for these cars to function without being serious safety risks themselves.

One of the key requirements for autonomous vehicles to work properly is to have clear road signs and working electronic road systems like traffic lights. Due to various factors like vandalism of road signs, it would seem unlikely for autonomous cars to be able to drive properly on the current state South African roads are in.


Russian traffic police have stated their fears that autonomous cars could be used to commit crimes. In Russia, the Road Safety Inspectorate has already seen cases where cars were electronically hijacked, which could be a real risk on South African roads.

Current and ongoing disturbance on the South African roads caused by the transport sector could also deter autonomous car companies from bringing the technology over to South Africa. As autonomous cars have the potential to take away jobs from humans in the public transportation sector, it could be risky to bring them onto South African roads when there is currently unrest and violence in the sector.

Do you think it would be a good idea to bring autonomous cars onto South African roads? Drop us a comment below and let us know.

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