That's twice as fast as the M25..... Cool
Limited to speeds of up to 37mph on motorways, Automated Lane Keeping Systems in vehicles have been offered a route to their legal introduction on UK roads. The Department for Transport claimed that the technology could improve road safety by reducing human error, which contributes to over 85 per cent of accidents. "The driver …
I assume this isn't targeted at urban streets and country lanes, so go and drive down an average main road. See how many people like to drive at 37mph. See, by way of contrast, how many think the national speed limit is slower than they like to travel (I confess I'm one of those).
Would many people be content to travel at 37mph, thereby making their journey last twice as long, in return for not having to steer? I doubt it.
At present in the UK, there is no legislation for minimum speeds on UK motorways. Although there has been calls for years to set a minimum speed limit, the practicalities of doing so means that at present there is still no specific minimum speed. The Republic of Ireland has a minimum speed of 30 mph on motorways, .
In some cases, there have been individuals who have received fines for driving too slow on the motorway, although these are extremely rare.
Driving at (IIRC) 20% below the speed limit on a road without good cause can be deemed 'causing an obstruction'. On a high speed road (such as a motorway), changing into a lane other than the left lane at 37mph could also be regarded as dangerous driving.
In my opinion the only time 37mph on a motorway could be seen as reasonable would be during traffic jams so that infers that BJ has a vested interest in lots of traffic jams ...
Despite your downvotes, it's a point I and probably many others also noticed. It seems odd to specify a speed limit that is clearly a conversion from a "round" number of kph in an unusual mph figure. Especially when the UK has been putting of converting road signs to kph speed limits and km distance for years and is likely to keep kicking that can down the road for many years to come,
I suspect the downvotes were from people sick of hearing about Brexit, despite it affecting all our live now and for the foreseeable future.
The system is designed to work at speeds of up to 37mph, it says nothing of limiting your speed, only that above 37mph this system will be unavailable to you.
Sometimes on motorways you will drive faster, and at those times you will steer manually. Other times you will find yourself going below 37mph, then you can activate this system and sit back.
Quite simple really, surprised people have misunderstood this.
Smart motorways aren't about safety or congestion. It's about getting the necessary computer, camera and network infrastructure in place to support a future road charging system.
When everybody gets electric cars, the government's massive fuel tax income drops off, they will recover that income by charging people by the mile.
No, that's not why, although it may help.
The reason is down to it being far cheaper and easier to add an extra lane of traffic by throwing up a few gantries, rather than building another lane, and being forced to widen roads and demolish houses and bridges. Apart from that being expensive, it also risks pissing off a lot of voters.
Doing the right thing is always tempered by annoying the fewest people. The only Venn diagram that fits is the one with gantries in the middle.
What could possibly go wrong? Bound to be idiots who take Tesla's "auto-pilot" and/or similar at face value and expect full auto self-driving (as has been documented, complete with fatal crashes across the pond). Got to be ALL self-driving cars on the road, that can "talk" to each other and not the mash-up of manual and semi-auto that seems to be emerging at the moment.
I would love to see how they arrive at these figures, they always sound to me like 'Think of a number' strategies.
I bet if pressed the minister will have zero to back those numbers up.
I can see this technology being disruptive though, mostly when a car decides to change lanes due to a couple of random electrons.
38000 jobs? Most likely in the collision damage repair, emergency medical services, and mortuary sectors?
A system that beeps at the driver when he/she drifts out of lane or gets too close to the vehicle in front might be a good idea. Worth trying I think. (But with an off/on switch please, if you don't mind.) The notion that computer technology in its current state can safely steer a vehicle in any but the most carefully controlled situations is nuts.
"The notion that computer technology in its current state can safely steer a vehicle in any but the most carefully controlled situations is nuts."
Yes, there's not all that many roads where you want a car to be partially self-driving at only 37mph for any real distance. If they were prepared to certify it (and mucho testing!!) at 70mph for motorways, I might be a tad more comfortable with the idea.
I think maybe automated driving on known expressways just might be doable. Get in the right hand lane. Stay there. Maintain a safe distance from whatever is in front of you. Don't exceed the speed limit. And, above all, DON'T HIT ANYTHING. All of that can probably be done with today's technology. Albeit barely.
What is tricky is detecting people, wild animals, livestock, "stuff", snow, sand, vegetation, construction, accidents, water, other liquids, other liquids--burning, etc, etc, etc in the right of way and handling them appropriately and non-lethally. Maybe that's somehow doable, but it is hard to see quite how. Whatever is done, it has to be reliable and shouldn't result in 50km long traffic jams when your vehicle encounters its first tumbleweeds, insect swarms, or escaped kangaroos.
I don't know how to do that. I don't think anyone does.
"Could" is a versatile word.
True. It's not going to be in the car industry. These systems are not going to be after-market installed, leading to jobs. They'll be factory fitted, probably by robots, leading to...erm...fewer not more jobs as they automate as much of the manufacturing as possible.
Personally I don't think fully autonomous vehicles will ever cope with crowded city driving in the UK. They might have a chance in a city with a grid layout, or when every road has helpful beacons every few metres but I'm not confident. When a bus breaks down during rush hour and you have to risk poking the nose of your car out into the opposite lane, so you can see oncoming traffic, what would an AI make of that. Do I want an algorithm taking that risk with my life?
If autonomous vehicles reduced deaths on the road by 90%, that remaining 10% have families who know that a computer killed their loved ones. Can they jail the algorithm for dangerous driving? I don't trust this government but they might be right that 'smart' motorways are safer but it doesn't matter. Each accident, due to the lack of a hard shoulder, is heavily publicised in the media and the court of public opinion have ruled them dangerous and unwanted. Every minor incident with a self-driving car will be front page news.
I love technology but I don't want a self-driving car. I like driving and I can't put the lives of me and my passengers in the hands of a computer (even Notepad crashes sometimes). I don't even want an automatic gearbox, like the majority of people in the UK (UK 60% manual, US 3% stick). I will be upset when there is no longer any manual gearbox cars for sale but I'll probably suck it up. I'll never buy, or ride in, a car without a steering wheel. I do see that a driverless car would be life-changing for disabled or infirm people though
They say it won't be long until a hacker actually kills someone. That seems a lot more likely if we sit in computers moving at 70.
Have an up arrow.
I've just bought a car a couple of years old and bottom of the range precisely because it doesn't come with all the bells and whistles and toys like this - which will be compulsory on all new cars in Euroland in a year or two.
I do not want an automated system driving me around. Whether it's me personally driving, or if I am being driven either privately or through a commercial service - I want the driver of the vehicle to have skin in the game.
Indeed. Rear view cameras and GPS are genuinely useful. But they can be retrofitted inexpensively. I've been doing that to our cars for a couple of decades. ABS is probably a good idea if you don't drive much on unpaved roads and don't have to deal with ice and snow four or five months of the year. The rest of the junk (ESC et al) mostly seems to fall into the "Now You Have Two Problems" category.
I don't expect that automated driving technology will be fully sorted out for decades. I'd prefer that someone else does the sorting.
The big difference is that a passenger plane is generally in an empty space (for most flights a well-defined corridor) where there should be no other planes; and certainly not hordes of lemmings on either side who may or may not leap in front of the plane at a moment's notice.
Yes, there is the occasional bird-strike (in a limited part of the flight path). Yes, there is the occasional mid-air collision or near miss. But those are rare for aircraft. For ground vehicles the lemmings and other vehicles are the rule, rather than the exception.
Don't forget they are piloted as necessary by highly trained individual who go though hours of simulator time to handle the cases when the autopilot hands back control. It does not always work out well (AF447) but it is one hell of a better that road users get.
Also said aircraft are professionally maintained and all actions and parts traceable, with any accidents or near misses being independently investigated. Will we see that for each "self driving" car prang?
To be fair, with aircraft speeds, 1000's of metres IS a near miss. Closing speed could easily be in excess of 1200mph so 1000's of metres might only be seconds apart. But of course, that is an incredibly rare occurrence and most aircraft autopilots don't take evasive action anyway. They just blare out alarms so the highly trained pilots can take over and take action.
I want a self-driving car.
Because long distance travels are boring and exhausting, speed controls a hassle, and because we all know that computers are more reliable than users. I see every day blunders made by car drivers that could easily end in a fatal crash. I'm more afraid by the human behind the steering wheel than by a well, long-tested automation system.
I don't even want an automatic gearbox
I got the same attitude for 20 years, but my last two cars had/have an automatic gearbox. Nowadays they are reliable, very efficient, have a low impact on fuel consumption and it's very comfortable when driving in heavy traffic. Once I tried one for a while I adopted it. I'm not against manual gearboxes, but I don't see any advantage about them anymore.
Look at ABS: thanks to this computer-assisted device, braking distances are smaller and cars are safer. It will be the same for all the aspects of driving.
I totally agree - case and point....
A week ago Wednesday. Stopped in traffic at a junction. Driver in a three-letter SUV type car (notorious for not having any idea where the indicators are) pulling out of the side road leant over the steering wheel looking at the other lane without looking pulls out and doesn't register I'm there. Honked to make him look and he whacks on the accelerator. Head on. 2 tons of fun launched me up in the air and down onto my arse.
A tesla would have seen the obstrution and stopped before impact. Meatbags with no situational awareness need support - just like I need a spell check sometimes to catch my mistakes.
My last car was my first automatic. It was good, I liked it. I'd have manually preferred a manual, but they didn't make a manual version of that car.
While that was being repaired I had a Renault Clio automatic as a courtesy car and it was woeful, Absolutely abysmal.
I'm back to a manual now, which makes me happy.
I wonder if in future semi-automatics will become more popular as automatic gearboxes are required to drive up fuel efficiency.
we hired a peugeot 3008 that was automatic. The thing tried to kill me on many occasions, it had some sort of inbuilt eco mode that seemed to reset (no matter how many times I switched off). Pull up to roundabout, engine goes off (not too bad), tap brake pedal to wake up the engine and give it some boot to set off and it crawls. FUCK FUCK GO YOU FUCKING IDIOT as it slowly picks up, I got a deserved honking at and away i went. Switched off Eco and it was good . Till it decided it wanted to eco again, set off from traffic lights at a crawl agaaaain. It also had sensors that picked up speed limits along with GPS. Except it didnt outside tebay when it suddenly decided I was on the A6 not the M6 and wouldnt let me go over 60.
Worst piece of shit I have ever driven.
In many cases limiters and speed monitors use a camera and rely on the speed limit signs being fitted at every change of applicable limit. Where there's no sign, the limiter stays set to the last limit detected. Hence the many cars crawling along clear roads at 40 because they've emerged from a trading estate or whatever without a release to national speed limit sign. And if it's relying on GPS think yourself lucky it didn't drive you into a river or something: when I worked in an office (remember them?) Google thought I was in the river all day...
"I don't trust this government but they might be right that 'smart' motorways are safer but it doesn't matter."
As a driver I try to avoid them as far as possible. I look on the hard shoulder as being a backup. Over the years I've had to use it about three times. The notion that you'll be able to make it to a refude is sheer optimism. I wonder if anyone in DoT drives on motorways. If they do I'd hate to be a passenger with them. It's all reminiscent of that famous non-driving Minister of Transport, Barbara Castle.
"I don't trust this government but they might be right that 'smart' motorways are safer"
PrivateEye have been following smart motorways recently - Your mistrust is well placed.
IIRC the DoT are still defending smart motorway by quoting safety statistics based on the original trials, ignoring more recent accident stats. Also ignoring that those trials used the hard shoulder at busy periods only (so always at reduced speeds) and the refuge areas were significantly closer together.
"The Register has long voiced reasonable concerns that the thrust toward self-driving technology is driven more by investors, manufacturers, and governments trying to cling on to the next hype cycle rather than a desire to offer anything of significant benefit. Incremental technology developments will not in themselves overcome these problems.'
I agree. Unlike an O.S. released into the wild...where nobody gets killed when things go wrong (mostly... I can't wait for all the forthcoming examples <snicker>), we really can't test the safety of systems incrementally on *live humans. Yet, think of all the volunteers that have really allowed us to push beyond the edges of what (again) is mostly considered reasonable.
Perhaps : Technology, by and for humanity. (not vice-versa)
I disagree, it's not the way anyone is actually going - we could test the systems incrementally in relative safety.
1 Self driving supermarket trolleys. If your self driving OS can navigate a trolley round Tesco on a Saturday morning without running over a toddler or crashing a tower of baked beans we let you graduate to:
2. The self driving car racing league. This takes place at Silverstone etc No drivers /passengers. Winner of the season gets to go forward a stage, but crash and you are relegated back to another year of supermarket trolleys.
3. Airport airside operations. Now you are in the big league - drive the ancillary vehicles, baggage , fuel trucks etc Now you might argue that airports are dangerous, but they are actually nice and controlled, predictable places with lots of surveillance, few pedestrians, and as long as speeds are low little chance to do more than monetary damage.
Nah, just throw them into inner city london where you need eyes on stalks. If the mad BMW SUV mums arent pulling out randomly then the deliveroo death cycles are inventing new gaps and road rules. Let alone random folk stepping out without warning. The onboard computer that reads road signs should have a right laugh at some of the decision trees it has to perform.
"Think of all of the new cars that won't have to be purchased"
Think of all the iPhones that have to be binned every few years because they can no longer run the latest OS. This is a massive opportunity to force people into buying a brand new car every couple of years to run the latest, safety certified, software.
I don't see prioritising pedestrians over vehicles in all situations as a problem. Pedestrians produce so much less CO2, let the gas guzzlers and precious metal hogging battery mobsters wait.
And before you ask, yes I do drive but as little as possible and never in London.
> Pedestrians produce so much less CO2
Well, you could claim that pedestrians (including pedestrians who happen on some occasions to be driving a motorised vehicle, or worse yet, live in a house with central heating) produce *all* the CO2. All the excess CO2, at least.
As someone who *has* experienced the delights of driving in the motoring paradise that is London zone 1, the problem with prioritising pedestrians over vehicles is exactly as noted in the article - if you give pedestrians carte blanche to stream across the road, then traffic - ALL traffic, buses, taxis, delivery vehicles, not just private vehicles - trying to get through that junction will end up at a complete standstill for extended periods of time, with all the knock-on effects on other parts of the road network nearby.
This isn't just some theoretical presumption about how pedestrians and vehicles would end up interacting at such junctions, it was a regular feature of trying to drive through those junctions at times of the day when pedestrian numbers were high enough such that they felt emboldened to simply keep on streaming across the road long after the lights had changed to give vehicles a green light, rendering that green cycle almost, or entirely, useless as far as helping vehicles to get through the junction was concerned.
The idea of having vehicles travelling at "up to 37 mph" on motorways seems to me a curious one, when the majority of traffic on these roads will be travelling considerably faster - outside peak hours at least.
Being unable to match the speed of other vehicles would make it difficult to safely change lanes when necessary.
The usual queue-jumping suspects would however quickly realise that they could use the "Holborn Effect" to force a vehicle to let them in.
I believe the idea is a traffic jam driver. An utterly trivial task for a self driving vehicle, since there is basically no requirement to do anything other than stay between the white paint and maintain a distance from the vehicle in front.
It has the potential to significantly reduce the duration of any jam, to the benefit of all motorists using that road. Even if by doing nothing other than not flip flopping between lanes to gain a tenth of a second, but causing brake waves behind the person trying to make a trivial gain.
"It has the potential to significantly reduce the duration of any jam, to the benefit of all motorists using that road."
It might, but not in the way you think. Self-driving car maintains gap to car in front. Car from adjacent lane pops into the gap. Self-driving car slows to maintain gap. Next car in adjacent lane does same. The lane with the self-driving car becomes static, the adjacent lane at least partially empties into it in front of the self-driving car leaving room for some of the traffic in the lane adjacent to that to move over.
Self preservation/save driver/occupants or protect pedestrians or other vehicles/occupants?
KITT vs KARR
Wait, you didn't have this already?
We've had lane keeping in American cars for years. That's old boring technology. It works perfectly, and at actual highway speeds, not just a pokey 37.
What we're looking forward to is cars that can take us to work, drop us off, go park back at home, and charge themselves. Shouldn't be much longer now, Google has driverless taxi service already up and running in Phoenix. Yes, real driverless service, there's a steering wheel in front of an empty seat.
I didn't understand the need for cruise control until I drove in the US. Outside the cities driving is a much more relaxed especially the interstates (motorways). I added cruise control to my next car after I came back to the UK and, whilst it is useful, it doesn't get much use within 100 miles of London cos the roads are too crowded and full of nutters.
Driving interestate friends tel me is limited to 50mph on many of the roads, so yes an auto driving system would be invaluable for me as driving at this speed is when I am most likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
Luckily in UK it's difficult to get above 70mph for more than a feew miles, in fact let's be honest, the distance between towns is so short and the motorways so crowded, you are luck if you can get up 50 mph on most motorways, most days of the week, or even in the middle of the night if you use the M6.
We need cars with pillows that automatically catch your head when it falls over. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
"Luckily in UK it's difficult to get above 70mph for more than a feew miles, in fact let's be honest, the distance between towns is so short and the motorways so crowded, you are luck if you can get up 50 mph on most motorways, most days of the week, or even in the middle of the night if you use the M6."
Living North of the M62, I don't see a problem with maintaining 70mph for long periods on the motorway. The M62 itself, west of the junction with the A1 isn't fun, neither are the motorways around Manchester and up to maybe as far as Blackpool. North of there, no problem. Likewise heading into Humberside and North Linc motorways.
Maybe if WFH catches on permanently, the more rural areas might get a little busier as people from Darn; Sarf realise they can move to Northern countryside for much nicer housing and cheaper than a cupboard in the Big City.
> it doesn't get much use within 100 miles of London cos
A lot of modern cruise controls can be put into speed limiter mode, which I do find very useful. Set that to 85 (sorry I'm sure it was 70 honest officer) then just rest your foot on the throttle. That way you back off easily when the road is busy but don't end up drifting to unexpected speeds when the jam speeds up. Kick the peddle firmly and they beep and deactivate the limiter so you can do things like completing the overtake of the people who always speed up when you crawl past them.
I think it depends on how you use it.
Personally I tend to use cruise control to cruise at around 60MPH about 200 yards behind an HGV.
The fuel efficiency is >20% better and the time difference between doing 60 and 70 is mathematically something like 12 seconds per mile, personally i'd rather have what is effectively a couple of months free fuel a year than the few minutes saved a day.
You're probably right, but I find it disconcerting to have my foot on the floor and nothing happening to the speed of the car. I also find cruise control a little uncomfortable too. I find I keep my foot hovering over the accelerator, which leads to more aches in the ankle. I have to consciously rest my foot on the floor and then feel nervous that I'm not in proper control.
If you push down to the floor on my car you'll override the speed limiter and accelerate. So really it's the same as manually maintaining speed by putting the right amount of pressure on your foot, except with far easier conformance to a specific top speed.
I love it for going past speed cameras. Means I don't need to ever check my speedometer which keeps me safer, and I can still lift my foot to accommodate the ebb and flow of heavy traffic without braking.
Yup. Every car I've owned has had cruise control, however after a bit of initial experimentation with it on my first car during long motorway drives, I came to the same conclusions as you regarding the pros and cons, so from that point on I've only ever used it whilst checking that it works as expected each time I replace one car with another.
OTOH, the last two cars I've owned both also included speed limiters, and that's proven to be a far more useful addition than cruise has been (especially for lengthy average speed check zones), to the point where if I had to choose one or the other then I'd quite happily delete cruise from the spec sheet.
We've had lane keeping in American cars for years. That's old boring technology. It works perfectly, and at actual highway speeds, not just a pokey 37.
Yes, the lane keeping, lane centering self driving cars have been available in Europe for years too.
I don't think that is what this article is about.
There will be these - damned if it does, damned if it doesn't
And "death by reckless driving", "driving without undue care and attention" - whose liable? It may be that the time take for the driver to take control was the time that could have averted a serious fatality if the driver was in control - this is of course the reason for the low speed limit - and that speed limit will have to stay low as until the human controller can be factored out - as the speed limit is determined by how quickly (an average) human driver can take over - not seasoned professional drivers.
Fully autonomous car, driving correctly within stopping distance of car in lorry in front.
Lorry's doors burst open, sending rolling logs towards the car.
Car knows that to it's left is a family car with 2 adults and 2 children.
To the right, a motorcyclist.
Car contains 1 elderly passenger.
Does car brace for impact with logs, swerve into motorcyclist, or swerve into car?
Head on impact is the worst scenario for the elderly passenger. Swerving into the bike will likely save the passenger, but kill the motorcyclist. Side-swiping the car would save the passenger, but put the family at risk, though they could survive unscathed, or maybe all die.
What should the car do? And who will the victims relatives sue?
"The logs might be rolling back relative to the lorry, but relative to the lamp post next to it, it'll still be moving forwards."
Not necessarily. Last year I was driving up a steep hill near home. Previously, after descending the hill I'd passed a big trailer loaded with hay bales making its way to the hill. Near the top the trailer had had a partial load-shed. These bales are large cylinders, about 2 metres dia & about the same length packed into wrappers. They're heavy. Fortunately the bales had come off askew and run into the site of the road otherwise they'd have been able to roll downhill for a few hundred metres to confront whatever was following.
Certainly all British cars have those? 007 had one back in the 60's so I assume it would be a standard feature there by now. Just like in car navigation and those spinny tire slashers used to discourage lane drifters.
If every car was equipped then mass pile-ups on the highway would be more fun for everyone.
Now if the cars are fitted with destructive laser weapons, like something that can vapourise the "logs", whatever - like Microsoft vapourises the point of MSC qualifications, Google invents it's own standards for safe browsing,
Mate, if NASA has an arm for chucking 9 tonnes of used batteries out of the Space station window, then cars should be capable of doing similar sorts of stupid stunts when it comes to replacing the battery.............or a bunch of stupid logs....
No. That's exactly my point. With a human driver, it would be classed as a tragic accident. Maybe the driver of the vehicle spilling the logs would be held liable, but the car behind wouldn't - whatever he/she did (and most would be likely to swerve if they knew they wouldn't stop in time)
My point is, if an algorithmic decision is made, someone will sue the people who are responsible for the cars software.
37 MPH? So there will be vehicles doing 37 MPH on a 70 MPH road? That's just asking for trouble.. contrary to popular belief the M25 is not the only motorway in Britain, and on other motorways it's quite possible to sustain 70MPH or more.
This could potentially cause more problems than it fixes.
You see, speed isn't always the reason for deaths and accidents on motorways, slowness can be just as dangerous if not more dangerous.
Trucks are limited at 56 MPH for example, this usually causes car drivers to come up quickly behind them and often move into the next lane at 70 MPH, but they generally stay in the first lane "out of the way" so to speak (unless over taking) while maintaining a consistent speed.
Now imagine you've got a car doing 37 MPH in the first lane, this means you'll have trucks coming up quickly and then needing to over take it or slow down, causing congestion. Or worse, if that 37 MPH vehicle is changing lanes into the more "high speed" lanes, it could potentially pull straight in front of a 70 MPH (or more) vehicle, probably causing an accident due to the sheer slow speed.
The only way this could be safe is if all motorway traffic is limited to 37MPH or if the vehicle never leaves the first lane.
37MPH is a ridiculously slow speed to maintain on a 70MPH road, slow enough to be dangerous.
but they generally stay in the first lane "out of the way" so to speak (unless over taking)
For some values of overtaking. The M62 eastbound from Chain Bar comes to mind with HGVs joining from the M606. Two lanes of HGVs grinding up the hill with at best a speed differential of about 0.1mph and not necessarily in favour of the vehicle in the "faster" lane. Eventually, long after my time using it, it got a much longer slip lane.
road? That's just asking for trouble.. contrary to popular belief the M25 is not the only motorway in Britain, and on other motorways it's quite possible to sustain 70MPH or more.
This morning I drove across Peterborough for my virus vaccine. For most of the journey I averaged between around 60mph and this was at 7:45. I used to work a short distance from the vaccine site and it was the same time as I when I worked there, this was 2019 so pre pandemic and home working.
But Peterborough has always been a fast city to drive around due to the road network.
Might see some use between Magor and Cardiff on the M4 now that the muppets in Cardiff bay have decided not to upgrade the M4 to a decent standard.
A clue for the idiots is that once you get west of Cardiff the journey times by train are ridiculous, and are never going to improve, add to that the huge amount of road traffic from 3 ferry ports (lots of HGV stuff form Pembroke Dock & Fishguard) and it’s clear why we need decent roads.
Self driving cars just adds another complexity to cars already overburdened by electronics hampered by cheap wiring,
"Now imagine you've got a car doing 37 MPH in the first lane, this means you'll have trucks coming up quickly and then needing to over take it or slow down, causing congestion."
Much of the A1/A1(M) is only two lanes wide and lorries passing other lorries is already an issue when one speed limiter is set slight different to another one. Just today, on the way home, I sat behind a lorry for well over a mile as he tried to overtake another on a slight incline. He never made it. By the time we crested the hill, the "slower" one started to pick up speed again and it took another mile or so before the "quicker" lorry eventually pulled back in behind the one he tried to over take. There was a line of vehicles behind me as far as I could see in my mirrors. Probably 5 mins delay caused by just one lorry and maybe 50 or more vehicles delayed. This can happen multiple times on the two lane stretches. There are two areas going north with an extra "crawler" lane and Southbound has two areas with 7am to 7pm curfews on the out lane for anything over 7.5t (that latter has made a good difference to journey times)
We've got enough problems on motorways at the moment with drivers who keep to "their" lane - join the motorway and push straight to one of the outer lanes and stay there until within a few yards of the intended exit and cut back across regardless of traffic. Automatic lane discipline would be far more useful and free up capacity if these drivers didn't avoid the use of the left hand lane when it was clear.
Middle lane morons are the one area where I think we could do more to catch the morons with technology, and should do more to punish them. Blatting brainlessly along in Lane 3 when Lane 2 and 1 are empty does not make you safe - it makes you a dozy selfish twat who isn't safe to be out, let alone in charge of a ton and a half or roll-over prone faux 'SUV'
Ahh I feel better for that mild rant!!!!
My pet hate is the lorries in lane 2 that are overtaking other lorries in lane 1 but only at a relative speed of +1-2mph. By the time you've got up to the braking distance of a lorry (minimum safe gap and point where the faster driver decides to overtake) + length of lorry being overtaken + length of lorry overtaking + another length of lorry braking distance (so as not to encroach on the lorry being overtaken's space), around 2 miles has been travelled and there's often ONLY lane 3 available for all of the cars zipping up at a delta speed of 10-20mph. And you can bet 5 minutes later the overtaken lorry will now overtake the lorry that overtook them!
I learned some years ago that some people call Lane 1 the "lorry lane". It's taken hold so well now that some people seem to think lane 1 is only for lorries and so some car drivers don't or won't use it. I see it frequently, driving down lane 1 at 70mph then having to move over the lane 3 to pass the moron in lane 2 doing 60-65mph, then indicating back to lane 1. Even that doesn't seem to give them a hint.
Proof if ever you needed it, that the inmates are running the asylum. Probably the same mentality that let the idiots to state Horizon was bug free.
Also stating 85% of accidents are due to human error. So what happens when all vehicles are automated and 100% of accidents are due to A.I error. Will we bring humans back? Or are we going for 50/50. Using percentages in this particular case doesn't mean a lot, real numbers would be more useful.
Maybe it's my age, but I'm staggered but how many mindless idiots think the current A.I. can be trusted. The clue is when they say you must be ready to take control at anytime, supposably this then is their get out clause. If the A.I. fails and the car crashes it's still your fault. Humans can't seem to win.
One day we will get there... Or maybe we won't. But I'm not planning on being a guinea pig for A.I. advancement.
I'm an engineer hardware and software and I wouldn't trust the current A.I. I've seen way to many bugs in hardware software and design to trust my life to a self driving car. But hey, the Darwin awards always seeks new contributers.
I've said it before (a few times) in comments on similar articles. The self-driving car (in the UK at least) does not fulfil the desires of the majority of those in enthusing at the prospect ; i.e. those people who cannot drive , for one reason or another.
The OP said it for me "The clue is when they say you must be ready to take control at anytime".
To take control one must be a qualified driver.
Should my licence not be renewed when I reach 70 (years, not MPH !) then I would have to submit to visiting distant relations via public transport.
Perhaps the money being thrown at self-driving 'personal' transport could be better spent improving public transport outside of Greater London and the other large cities of the UK!
After all, the developers have been given virtually a free hand in building more and more houses in villages and remote towns with hardly a parking space to be had outside them, so they must be assuming these householders will not be needing a couple of vehicles to commute anywhere in the near future... (I'd thought of a joke icon there, but it's really no joking matter).
The problem for those in charge is that we plebs have enjoyed the fruits of freedom of movement over large distances for a long time now and it's going to be difficult to put that particular genie back in its bottle.
About 18 months ago, I was suggesting that autonomous cars would herald the end of private car ownership as a complex mix of factors started to align.
The immediate rebuttal from most was how much they needed to drive to get to the office and that it was impossible for them to avoid that.
Then 2020 happened and proved (what I knew all along) that office working is mainly by convention, not necessity.
The current shit state of electric cars could be fixed at a stroke if they were able to slope off autonomously at night to recharge somewhere sensible, and be back by dawn.
"The current shit state of electric cars could be fixed at a stroke if they were able to slope off autonomously at night to recharge somewhere sensible, and be back by dawn."
...and "rush hour" starts even earlier as all those cars leave their central charging hub to pick up their passengers with no home parking/charging, then do the same again after dropping them off at work or the shops. There may well be fewer of them if WFH become permanent for significant numbers, but the number of trips each car does will likely go up.
Absolutely no use in rural areas where different households travel at different time to different destinations, you’d need as many of these self driving miracles as .... oh yeah, the cars that people own now that are parked in a place convenient to the users and are a available to use at whim..
...technology in the US. It was some sort of Chevrolet rental with "Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning". It drove me absolutely crazy with constant beeping and flashing warning lights for no apparent reason. I turned it off and tranquility returned - and I am still alive!
I don’t understand the push for self-driving cars. I mean, does anyone actually WANT one?
I certainly wouldn’t trust a computer to take over from me driving my car. And there is no way I would get in a car as a passenger knowing that the driver was relying on a computer.
Electric cars I get. Self-driving? Not at all. What’s the attraction?
Because of the standard of human driving that I see everytime I take to the roads, I would welcome ego-free machines doing the job much better. And it wouldn't take much to be better.
A brick on the accelerator pedal would be enough in some Audiot cases.
The Department for Transport claimed that the technology could improve road safety by reducing human error, which contributes to over 85 per cent of accidents.
So, that's 15% not attributed to human error, or inhuman error -- Must therefore be aliens
Given that humans are generally the thing driving the cars, then its easy to blame them for everything. What evidence do they have for those figures, or are they saying things like "potholes in the road account for 15% of accidents when your tyre blows out when you hit them" or similar such statistics ?
Personally, if I'm in a box that has the ability to kill me or someone around me and I'm going to be accountable, then I will be in control or if.
It also doesn't say how many accidents are AVOIDED by human actions
In chorus and disputation slight with others below,
I am of the views:
1: ref UK Motorway Minimum Speed Regs:
Under std conditions, without local restrictions (for road works say) and excluding special (v heavy say) load movements:
Me understands it is 40mph.
2: ref General Ethos of Auto Piloting et al and its Legal Status:
I respectfully and most humbly submit:
As is to date, it's legally bollocks m'Lud.
Ipso F (and you too if that came to mind):
On nearly all occasions of prang:
We will know who the injured party is; that being common to most accidents/incidents.
Where auto vehicles are involved, whether they be the agreed* perpetrator or even the injured party after being clouted by another same/similar:
We just don't know who to blame for said prang unless it can be proved that the offending vehicle's occupants:
were at time of prang / had been previous to prang / are in knowledge of other,
fucking about with the manufacturers pre-sets.
Manufacturers and sellers are putting these systems to market with such labyrinthine conditions of applicability that deconstructing the warrantees of any,
by any, especially the end user buyer/hirer etc, is, if not impossible, most certainly impracticable by, again, the end user/hirer*.
The poor sod who,
if he hasn't modded the system and has no knowledge of other(s) doing such,
has put the vehicle to road under the recommeded conditions he was briefed with at purchase / start of hire - etc.)
therefore should be blameless but will undoubtedly be the first to put to scrutiny).
Yours, in a Morris Oxford with roll cage,
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