Re: Self driving trains are low hanging fruit
A train I travelled on the other week was delayed due to "incorrect route offered".
http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=43103 makes for interesting reading.
One of the tasks of UK train drivers is making sure the signallers don't do something sub-optimal. So first make sure that all the signalling and routing is absolutely reliable (including the track side infrastructure used for communicating with the train) and when you have had a few years with zero signalling problems you can then start to consider automated trains. Of course, when some scroat half inches the signalling wires to sell the copper you do have to have some method of taking the trains onto the next good section. Today this would be the driver.
Design , simples.
Infrastructure upgrade? Given that they can't even manage to electrify the network at the moment due to lack of allocated cash I won't be holding my breath.