Road Safety News

MPs ‘unprepared’ for driverless cars

Tuesday 20th January 2015

MPs have not grasped the impact of modern vehicle technology on the motor industry, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

The IMI’s comments came after a survey into MPs attitudes to driverless cars revealed a “general lack of knowledge amongst our legislators on the impact of autonomous vehicles”.

The survey showed that almost half of MPs questioned were against further investment in autonomous vehicle research, while 42% were unsure of the impact autonomous vehicles would have on road safety.

Steve Nash, IMI CEO, said: “Even a cursory glance at the latest technology news shows a great deal of investment going into driverless vehicles. High profile companies including the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Google, Nissan and even NASA are all now engaged.

“This technology is not going away. Even if we don’t see fully autonomous vehicles on sale in the next few years, the advancement in technology will have a huge impact on normal vehicles.

“MP’s are in danger of falling asleep at the wheel and need to start paying closer attention to the implications of these changes; both in terms of legislative issues and the large skills gaps it will create in the automotive workforce who maintain cars.”



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Augmentation is what we will get, but augmentation brings new problems in its wake.

It's funny that people think that when autonomous cars finally do come along they will be slower than ones driven by people. A computer chip can process information at 66 million times a second whereas the best a human can manage is only 200 times a second. That would mean that an autonomous car could travel many times faster than one driven by a mere human with equal levels of safety.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

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Perhaps a half-way house solution is more technology that still allows drivers to drive but discreetly compensates for their shortcomings: automatic braking; sensors warning of hazards etc. Slower cars anyone?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Taken from the ITF paper on autonomous vehicles.

90% of road crashes involve human error but...
99.999% of all trips taken involve no crash.

"The real challenge then is not to create autonomous vehicles that avoid human mistakes, but rather to create autonomous vehicles that replicate the good driving performance of humans".
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

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Wow - you really all think this is not happening? Is it because with the end of individual responsibility for driving, you will have no reason to continue to object to everything? Driverless cars will come soon, I would think initially on the trunk road network and when the stats show that they eliminate collisions, it will force the government of the day to outlaw human control which will eventually extend to the entire road network. Prepare for redundancy.
Dave, Watford

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Doesn't matter how prepared MP's are because there won't be any 'autonomous cars' for a great many years yet.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

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I spoke to a qualified auto engineer a few days ago speaking about the number of vehicles with one failed headlight. She stated that in some modern cars, one cannot lift the bonnet without a security code as it breaks a vehicle warrantee. Any checks are done with computerised diagnostic equipment, and if a fault is detected or a certain mileage covered, an automatic warning is sent to the main distributor for booking the vehicle in for service or repair.

Abilities, skills and perhaps 'responsible' drivers are on the threatened species list.
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

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Will we in the future see a car diagnose its own problem, maybe a bald tyre, book itself into a service station and authorise the repair. Drive itself to that place and undertake the repair, returning to its owner. And will it pay the bill. Automatically.

It may well be that it will detect that it is following on too close to the vehicle in front and that there is a tailgater behind and like James Bond fire rockets and eliminate the danger.

I think not. Or maybe? But then this is piece of futuristic humorous fiction....I hope.
Bob Craven Lancs.... Space is Safe Campaigner

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"MP’s are in danger of falling asleep at the wheel..." Groan...clever though.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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