Driverless - would you dare?

The devil’s in the detail. I assume we’re talking about fully autonomous, so the people in the car won’t be participating in the driving at all beyond deciding the destination and, perhaps, choosing ‘quickest or cheapest’.

For me the big question though is “Will all the other cars on the road be driverless ?”. If they will then hurrah ! But if what Sodbury used to call ‘the piss-soaked old nodders’ will still be out there doing 60 in the middle lane then rather than dawdle along behind them all the way from here to Northumberland, which I fear is what the risk-averse software will be prone to doing, I’ll still want to have my hands on the wheel so I can get there before it’s time to turn round and come home again.

Once we take the panic element out of driving (braking because you see an oncoming vehicle, pulling out because you’ve detected a truck in the inside lane even though it’s no closer than Neptune, slowing down to rubberneck an accident on the other carriageway …) traffic should actually move faster than now and I’m all for that.


I’m not sure it really matters, other than the mental barriers it throws up. All Google’s testing has been done in a mixed environment, and the stats say that it’s safer than a car with a driver in it, regardless. That is to say, if you’re put in danger by another human driver, it still makes better decisions than you would, leading to better outcomes.

Given the title of the thread maybe we should stick to the safety aspect alone. I’m still worried that the control system design will not attach the same priority to ‘getting from A to B in a timely manner’ as I do. If proof is needed that those in control have little regard for travellers’ inconvenience we only have to look at mile after mile after mile of needless 50mph limits whenever roadworks need doing. It’s not their time that’s wasted so they don’t care.


True, but I meant with no access to controls

I know what you meant Kev, I was just being a cnut :grin:

No reason for motorway speed limits not to be raised to a hundred if cars are autonomous. There will be no tail gating, no dangerous driving, no lack of attention, no slow bastards (this may take a few years to get rid of normal cars), no need to worry about fog. Cars can be designed for passenger comfort rather than driver convenience. It’s win all round.

we could have platooning - why limit it to 100…

We need some creative thinking - if there is no driver, no need for driver controls or facing forwards seats and they are designed for comfort, then just make “rooms” on wheels, you could have “living rooms”, offices, bedrooms, oh and listening rooms

I think they would have to be small rooms, The last thing we need is the roads clogged up with offices. bedrooms and living rooms.


Your room would be wide load Kev :grinning:

Depends what you mean by tail gating. If you mean finding someone deliberately harassing you when they could perfectly easily overtake in another lane then I agree. But if you don’t have to worry about the person in front suddenly slowing down then there’s no reason not to drive close-in behind them. Indeed there are all sorts of very good reasons to do it The most obvious one is the huge increase in road capacity it gives you. Demand for road space and a road’s ability to meet that demand are both measured in vehicles-per-hour:

Vehicles-per-hour = Vehicles-per-mile x Miles-per-hour

If, as some duffer recently suggested in a letter to The Didcot Herald after a very nasty accident on the A34, we “make everything all right by having the police constantly enforce larger-than-current gaps between vehicles and also by lowering the speed limit” then what will happen is that the road capacity will decrease. That will increase congestion (the road is already struggling to meet demand) and, as anyone who’s come upon a tailback unexpectedly knows, congestion doesn’t make for a safe driving environment. Closely coupled blocks of vehicles doing a hundred would mean we wouldn’t need to widen a trunk road for decades.


I’m with Bob (and the Police) on this one - driving too close to the car in front is dangerous…what happens when a dog, or a deer runs out in front of the car in front of you? What about reaction times?

The highway code is clear on this…

…it also says that you shouldn’t overtake on the left unless you’re queuing. I hope I don’t come across you on the road Graeme…

He’s talking about driverless mode only dude :slight_smile:

Lots of things are dangerous Jim. Some things are more dangerous than others. When we have to choose between evils we need to strike the safest balance.

I live near the A34 and while I don’t use it a lot I did worry about Mrs VB who had to drive on it most days for 25 years. At quieter times it was fine. When it couldn’t cope it quickly (no pun intended) became a deathtrap. There isn’t enough capacity It really needs at least another lane, but that’s not going to happen. So the next best thing is to make sure it’s used efficiently - no sudden braking or lane changes, no-one taking their eye off the ball, no-one wanting to drive much slower than everyone else or take up more than their share of the tarmac (and on a detail I’d ban mobile cranes completely for the hours between 05:00 and 22:00).

I don’t think in the whole 25 years Mrs VB ever saw a dog or a deer (she did see a horse once that had escaped from an overturned horsebox).

I’m absolutely with you on reaction times. Perhaps they should be part of the driving test. And of the doctor’s assessment of older drivers.

Where did the thing about overtaking on the left come from ? I don’t approve of overtaking on the left and I try my best not to do it.That said, on a three-lane carriageway in heavy traffic it’s not unusual for those in the outside lane to have to brake hard, sometimes to a standstill. I think if I was making more steady progress in the middle lane it would be more dangerous for me to stamp on my brakes to avoid passing even one vehicle in the outside lane than it would for me to ease off gently, passing a few if necessary.


Which the law allows.

If this is the case, I misunderstood and apologise, but from the following post, I’m not so sure…

…you can’t predict if the car in front will brake suddenly. Might not happen for 25 years, but there’s a first time for everything…

Mine will be driverless and hover capable, fuck traffic.


Nice. I may have ack-ack guns installed on mine just in case.

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Bagsy tail gunner.


I’m going to miss the racist commentary on other road users and the state of the world that some cab drivers provide. There won’t be many opportunities to demonstrate your moral superiority to the politically correct computer driving the car.

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Olans car, tomorrow…