Self-Driving Vehicles Challenge Mass Car Use in Malta


Back in the day, not owning a car in Malta meant that you had to rely on an untimely bus schedule. Plus, owning a car didn’t just mean freedom of movement, it was, and still is, a fashion statement. But is this still relevant for the younger generations?

According to a Gadgets poll featured on Instagram Stories, owning a car is still very common. However, people not owning a car (66.3% owning vs 33.3% not owning one) and carpooling preferences (57% no vs 43% yes) are definitely rising trends that offer a fresh perspective on how people view transport options.

Thing is, it can be much better

For the last few years, Malta has seen different transport companies offering a healthy range of competitive prices and innovative features such as GPS-integrated apps for its users, carpooling options and multiple vehicle types to choose from.

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As this continues to encourage these trends, and with car use still being very popular in Malta, cars are costly to maintain and they cause a great deal of stress as the number of vehicles continues to rise on our tiny island – last year’s statistic featured an increase of 56 registered vehicles per day.

Self-Driving Cars?

Alexei Dingli, professor at the University of Malta and local guru of artificial intelligence explored the idea of self-driving cars in a recent article published on the Canadian platform Towards Data Science. Self-driving vehicles operate autonomously, using a variety of sensors and complex software to control and navigate the vehicle.

The idea sounds futuristic, right? But Dingli explains how we might as well start to embrace this as a very real part of our imminent future.


Dingli explains how self-driving cars mean less cars in our over-populated roads, which in turn translates to less stress, less pollution, less find-a-parking-space crisis and fewer car accidents – overall a massive improvement in our quality of life.

Empty cockpit of autonomous vehicle, HUD(Head Up Display) and digital speedometer. self-driving vehicle.

Dingli writes about the way that an integrated real-time system in the car would choose the best route, guaranteeing you will always arrive on time. He also offers multiple intelligent solutions that self-driving cars can offer.

Spoilt for Choice

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The AI professor goes on to say that you can have a shared car system as a popular and more economical option, or private cars, with desk & Wifi available for the hectic nomads. Luxury cars with elevated comfort experience can also be booked to impress clients. He also mentions how children can use these cars with onboard entertainment, and how parents can access integrated video and satellite modes to monitor their children while they’re in the vehicle.

No sweat to carry large objects

Another way that self-driving cars can make our lives better? Well, in real life, you cannot move large objects from point A to point B, not even when you have your own small car. Self-driving cars would give you the option to choose from a range of van sizes to transport anything. Such self-driving vans would then liaise with the local councils’ system for any permits needed to load and unload. Well, hard to beat that.

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