Driverless - would you dare?


NVA appear to have diversified their portfolio.


It was a flippant comment, however, their is a serious point to it. In urban areas where traffic is slow anyway, 20mph or less, stepping out to cross a road is largely at the behest of the drivers. It’s not a case of could they stop in time to let you cross, it’s more would they stop for you. A driverless car would have no option but to stop or slow down.

On the plus side 20mph zones would be complied with, as would all speed limits on all roads and accident rates would plumet, which is a good thing.

If programmed accordingly it could be impossible (save for an emergency) to park the car illegally, that’s going to truly fuck up the school run, another added bonus.


I hope they come with room for a small selection of beers and wines, as well as a decent bed. The ability to undertake long journeys overnight and wake up at your destination would be excellent.


Do you think a reduction in speed on motorways would reduce accident numbers?

I think it makes sense in built up areas and on certain country roads, but on the motorways I’d be in favour of a separate test to get user numbers down and standards up, and I’d remove all speed limits.


I don’t think I’d remove all limits, as that might encourage very high speeds indeed, but I would be strongly in favour of much higher limits (up to about 100mph, say) where the weather is good and the traffic volume is light.


We’ve been here before. I think simply making traffic go more slowly is not the solution (of course in the final limit, when the speed is reduced to zero, the accident rate does indeed plummet - sadly so does the rate at which anyone arrives at their destination).

I fear the problem is the wagons. They are numerous and slow.



So the vast majority of people would get where they’re going more quickly. I confess I’m struggling to see the problem with that.



I mean that speeds on the motorway should still be limited to, say, 100mph, even in perfect conditions, as crashes at higher speeds are probably more likely and worse.

There is an argument for limiting speeds to a percentage of the vehicle’s top speed, with adjustments for its NCAP rating, I guess.


I was once being driven in a people-carrier down the autobahn by a professional German driver (long story - my host for the trip had been named on a 1970’s terrorist death list and the government had assigned him a seriously trained chauffeur). We left the road, as planned, about a kilometre before a huge pile-up which had happened only a few minutes earlier. The driver said that the absence of speed limits on the autobahns actually reduced the accident rate because it reduced both congestion and drivers’ anger. However he said that when they did happen the high speeds made them much worse.

So ‘worse’ yes, but ‘more likely’ no. In fact, less likely.



I would love to think that our government regularly reviewed the speed limits to reduce accidents and maximise traffic flow, based upon evidence worldwide. Sadly I don’t live in dreamland.


Sadly my car struggles to go any slower than 70mph

Would be nice to have no speed limits so I could see what 3rd gear is like


I fear that altering the speed limit, either up or down, doesn’t have any significant effect on casualty rate on major roads (it might well have a big effect in built-up areas though, where pedestrians are). I think the large fall in RTA casualties has come mostly from improvements to vehicles and partly from more recent generations of drivers having more experience of driving at speed.

If I had to guess then I’d put the lack of a rise in the motorway speed limit since 1967 down to politics. Raising the limit wouldn’t win any votes. It’d just be seen as the sort of obvious common sense thing that the government should have done years ago. It would, however, infuriate a significant number of ‘disgusteds of Tunbridge Wells’ who would be apoplectic at the thought of millions of young (that’s fifty-something) tearaways driving their turbo-charged hot rods at lunatic speeds past doTW as he’s progressing very sensibly at 56mph in the middle lane. Out would come their green pens and off would go their letters to the Fail and before you know where you are the MP for Frinton would have a mob waving their walking sticks outside his weekly surgery. No. Let’s just leave it as it is.



In the future all motorway’s will be 50mph if the Gov’t have their way.


The one biggest thing to improve journey speeds would be to ban lorries from using lane 2 (I.e. Stop them overtaking) on dual carriageways, as the they do in Germany.


With driverless cars I think motorway speeds could increasee once all the driven cars are off the road.


The M1 near us is 60MPH during the rush hour in the week…they have just finished widening it to four lanes as well…ha!


As we are today, my previous comment being about driver less cars, I know that motorways are our safest roads. The majority of accidents are caused by rear end shunts and the underlying cause of those are people’s misconception of speed which manifests itself in rampant tailgating. People think they have the situational awareness of a fighter pilot and the reaction time of a rattle snake, unfortunately our abilities in both departments are limited and the same, unless you are a fighter pilot of course. It’s all a moot point anyway as the Smart motorway network now actively controls speed on congested parts of the network.


I agree. I think I posted on t’wam years ago my plan for variable tolls on all roads (in place of road tax), which encouraged use outside of busy hours. If it were free between 10pm and 4am for example, that might spread the load and allow lorry drivers an opportunity to earn a bit more.


Yeah, and easily set up with current technology


Its not all about pure speed / time and relative safety. Fuel economy, consumables (and to a lesser extent polution) are all a consideration to me running my daily driver over 20k miles a year. Im very happy pootling up and down the m40 at 60 to 65mph. It takes on average 8 to 10mins longer on my door to door drive (compared to outside lane driving) and I save 25% on fuel, get 50K+ miles out of front pads and im far more relaxed at either end of the journey.

Id love a driverless car for my commute, but doubt very much id want to go above 70 even if it was safer as the costs would go up with very little time saved overall.