Road Safety News

Driverless cars won’t work without right infrastructure

Monday 22nd December 2014

Government investment in driverless car trials could be an “exciting gift” to road safety, but won’t work without a “fully-functioning road infrastructure”, according to the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA).

The RSMA says its most recent survey of the UK’s road network (March 2014) showed that half of markings on local authority roads in England either needed to be replaced immediately or scheduled for replacement, while just 12% were classified as “excellent”.

George Lee, national director of the RSMA, said: “By 2025, more than half the travel on Europe’s roads will be in vehicles which can read the road ahead including markings and signs. But vehicles, like drivers, cannot function if basic road markings and signs are worn out, non-compliant, inconsistent or confusing.

“Driverless car trials in towns and cities are exciting, but getting the basic network in shape first – no matter how dull it may sound – is fundamental to success.

“The network must be fixed long before autonomous vehicles can work on our roads. It would be a huge step forward if we could have roads that can be read easily by humans – who at the moment, make up the vast majority of road users.”


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Could it be adopted on motorways on the outside of the first lane markings and be installed in all HGV vehicles and it will then prohibit them from causing tailbacks by using the middle lane unnecessarily and committing a possible offence of driving without reasonable consideration. Or maybe not.
Bob Craven Lancs......Space is Safe Campaign.

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

Will the "right infrastructure" be pothole free?
Peter Westminster

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There has got to be a realisation that there is money to be made by those who produce new technologies even though 99% of them will never see the light of day. It's the way of the world. If the government subsidise or give away monies for development it keeps people in jobs. Plus wherever there is a subsidy by government the price always goes up..... doesn't it? Little or nothing to do with road safety.
bob craven Lancs Space is Safe campaigner

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)

I remain astonished, even after public subsidies that fail to persuade more than a very few to buy electric vehicles, that even this Government is daft enough to fall for the glib promises of electronic salesmen. That these autonomous cars are supposed to navigate by road markings, in all weathers, says it all.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (10) | Disagree (8)

May I point out that over the last 6 years or so where road re surfacing has taken place some local authorities are not replacing the central white lines... Something to do with road safety I believe?

Just because we have the technology to do that this does, it by no means mean that it will be adopted by the human race. Hope I never get to see it.
Bob Craven Lancs.... Space is Safe Campaign.

Agree (8) | Disagree (1)

Having recently been a passenger in a demo by the RSMA on Bruntingthorpe Airfield I think they have a long way to go before they are using our network. The Volvo I was in could not follow brand new lines painted by the RSMA on the airfield, the driver was constantly correcting the steering and would not trust the braking at all. We made one soiree onto the grass at city speeds. This seems like a self interest story to improve our lining for their members. Not that many don't need improving if the cash was there!
Olly, Lancs

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I presumed this story referred to c/way markings giving instructions and whether driverless cars could read and interpret them correctly. e.g. left-turn/straight ahead arrows; hatching; centre-line spacing; waiting/loading restrictions; 'disabled only' spaces - there's a lot a driverless car will have to learn!

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As an industry we MUST define the key questions and challenges for driverless cars. On this particular point the challenge should be to navigate without white lines. The reason I say this is that many roads do not have white lines. I know my driveway does not so I'd rather hope the car makers will have worked that one out.
pete, liverpool

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