Driverless Vehicles on UK Roads?

Driverless Vehicles in the UK ?

The UK government has just announced that testing of autonomous vehicles in the UK may take place on roads in the UK, including a section of specially adapted motorway, I suppose that this is good news but it will be some time before you will see a car without someone sitting in the driving seat.

Anyone who has used an in car navigation will know that GPS is an aid but does not at the moment provide information on one way streets and bus lanes. In fact at times it can be a distraction for drivers. I have on occasions approaching or on a round about listening to the instruction nearly forgotten to observe traffic lights and at least once had to advise my wife to make a left hand turn due to the road ahead being restricted to buses only.

Clearly a lot of work will be required for vehicles to be able see and react to their surrounding as well as knowing where they are and how to get to their destination. Laws will need to be amended, to cover situations where a driver is not in control of a vehicle, even if seated in the drivers seat as vehicle is switched to autonomous mode.

Inter vehicle communication is envisages with cars signalling each other when they are braking or encountering road hazards such as traffic jams, accidents and hazardous road condition, but these are in the future. During the first phase there will be a test driver ready to take override action when necessary, Autonomous mode wll probably be restricted to motorway driving and slow speed manoeuvres

David Ogden
Helping People Help Themselves

David –