Sunday 5 September 2021

Road - Another worrying thought

Driving cars on public roads will be outlawed by the year 2050 and it will be an offence to take manual control of a vehicle on the public highway!

Fortunately those are not actual facts - yet!

However, a report compiled by the well respected 'IDTechEx' independent market research and business intelligence organisation reckons that "autonomous cars will match or exceed human safety by 2024" - that's just 3 years away. Furthermore, "by the 2040s, they will be capable of fulfilling the world’s mobility needs without a single collision. So why should humans be allowed to continue driving?"

The assumption is that the technology will save lives and therefore not using it will be criminally negligent.

Manual driving won't be banned completely, but may be 'relegated' to a sport, and therefore confined to private roads, tracks and circuits for racing and track days. No mention of rallying, but I suspect that will be governed by the relevant competition regulations and public highway legislation which will prevail at this future date - if and when this ever does happen.

I have no doubt that 'IDTechEx' has access to the relevant worldwide industry data and statistics which support such conclusions, but their prediction that autonomous vehicles will be bug-free and roadsafe by 2024 is surprising.

For instance, many new cars currently have Lane Keeping Assistance technology which informs drivers when they cross a white line on motorways and A roads, but what happens when there are no white lines, or indistinct country road verges, and/or there is snow covering the ground? Does the Lane Keeping aid know what the snow poles are along the northern part of the A9 and other highland highways? And what happens when two autonomous cars meet on a single track road with passing places? Mull will come to a standstill!

No mention either of motor cyclists and pedal cyclists - and those damned nuisance electrified suicide scooters buzzing about pavements by numpties who haven't a clue about self preservation and the Highway Code.

No doubt MS UK will be well aware of this report - and taking due note of its contents.

We hope.


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