Driverless Cars. Good Thing or Bad?

A recent report in the Guardian shone on interesting new light on the concept and we thought that it was worth sharing.

Going driverless: can self-driving cars gain public trust or will they be derailed?

Pools of driverless cars, designated aerial drone highways and intelligently interconnected transport. All the things that could make transport safer and more accessible for everyone are just around the corner.

One of the developments with the biggest potential benefits and social impact is driverless vehicles. Consultants KPMG have predicted that the annual economic and social benefits for the UK from autonomous vehicles could be worth £51bn by 2030, with the greatest share going to the places where autonomous technologies are manufactured and actively introduced.

The UK government is keen for Britain to lead the way in developing driverless technology. This puts it ahead of many other countries. Under its proposed measures, rules will be changed so that automated vehicles can be insured for road use.

Electric vehicles could go first at traffic lights under UK clean air zone plans

But despite optimistic predictions, the autonomous transport revolution faces a precarious journey with no smooth pathway or inevitable outcome. Genetically modified crops were once believed to be the solution to serious global issues of food production, poverty and malnutrition, but adamant opposition and tainted public opinion has meant a block on their mainstream use for the foreseeable future. The threat is that driverless vehicles could be derailed in a similar way.

Social benefits

We need to be clear from the outset about the social benefits and long-term benefits for public services and regional planning. At the moment, 93% of road accidents are said to be caused by human error; by 2030, again predicted by KPMG, the introduction of driverless vehicles could save 2,500 lives and reduce the number of serious accidents by 25,000 each year.

Greater traffic management could reduce congestion, journey times, CO2 emissions and noise. Use of unstaffed aerial vehicles for deliveries and some public services such as security and monitoring could cut traffic volumes. Driverless vehicles won’t need to be parked in crowded central areas, but out of town. Less traffic, and the ability of autonomous vehicles to get out of the way quickly and to alert other vehicles, could also mean better access for emergency vehicles. Roads and central public areas could be safer for pedestrians through anti-collision and speed control technology.

For more on this story, please visit – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/03/06/motorists-may-not-held-responsible-driverless-car-crashes-new/

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