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Driver-less vehicles. Road safety experts express their concern
Driving experts doubt if a society, that depends on 300 billion driver miles a year, can be sustained by autonomous road vehicles. 'It's is such a massive proposal. Should we place such trust in the promoters ?' They ask.
By: Drivers' Union
Keith Peat, the group's founder, explains that the vehicles are not being programmed for maximum efficiency but around the aspirations of road safety groups with no CV in road safety or driving and whose agenda is mostly green and to get drivers off the road. He says 'There seems to be a contradiction between a stated aim of getting people out of cars and walking cycling or on buses, and fanciful ideas ranging from, non drivers using them, to cars that can even take kids to school and pick them up without anyone to drive them. This of course would mean many more cars on the road and not less'. 'Are we really thinking of a robot taking our kids to school, seeing them safely in and collecting the right kiddies before an abductor has got them first?' He asks.
The group points out that the technology required to pilotlessly fly planes along vast empty corridors to land on vast empty runways would be crude compared to that of operating road vehicles with opposing traffic, on narrow deviating paths, shared by other human hazards and especially unneeded human activity that we tolerate on crucial infrastructure today. 'Before we even consider this, we should decide who we must have on the roads and who society doesn't need mixing with major infrastructure. We should already be doing that now but surely we are not moving into the future on the basis of out of date, obsolete of unneeded human activity?' says Keith.. 'We know that most speed limits are set too low now and on the basis of local politics and nimbyism instead of being set scientifically by experts and accident history. Before we go driver-less, we should expertly review all these limits so that road vehicles are running at their most efficient speeds. After all, we look for optimum speeds in all other essential infrastructure.' Keith points out.
'Then there's the out of date, often confusing and dangerous, Highway Code. Developed piecemeal for a hundred years, we can quote several subjective and unfathomable rules which are impossible to apply with humans let alone by the limited sensors of a computerised system.' says the group.' Of course, unreal demonstrations, under unreal conditions and circumstance, will always impress laymen and that is what the promoters are up to right now but they do not bear proper scrutiny' they say.
Their biggest fear is that our society is too large and too widely spread to be able to subsist with driverless vehicles. They point out that most drivers are struggling with older vehicles and simply couldn't afford to buy, run and maintain these very costly vehicles. 'That may be the intention. Taking drivers off the road would suit the minority, green anti driver movement who want all of us walking or cycling' they say.
From the 1950s society has been encouraged to live further apart from family, work and school.To fetch and carry large loads and bulk shopping from out of town precincts is a household basic All that has been achievable because of the private car.. Do we really imagine that we can return to the pre 1950s of walking, cycling and buses? Carrying large bags of groceries daily from a local shop? That's the only way that driver-less cars could operate. Small centralised Gotham style communities where most of the population would have no access to their own motor transport. Can we really afford to mess with a system that has worked very well, given us a better lifestyle and increased longevity?' Asks Keith. 'If it ain't broke why fix it?' he asks.
'The people behind all this are simply refusing to address any of the valid and genuine queries being put to them by independent experts with no axe to grind. The British public must not allow such a massive change in their lifestyle without ensuring that it isn't based on the ideals of a tiny minority who do not have their welfare at heart'. Says Drivers' Union.
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