Driverless - would you dare?


Don’t miss Guy Martin’s prog.

Guy Martin Vs the Robot Car Channel 4


Saw half of it last night - fascinating - the rest tonight.

Sam’s V90 can steer, brake, react to obstacles etc. etc., and does it very well - EXCEPT I suspect that its relative lane position hasn’t been adjusted for RHD, so it hogs the nearside a little too much. It won’t put up with more than 30 seconds of hands-free - I know how it feels…:baguette_bread::sweat_drops:


I can’t help thinking that the only way it will really work is all or nothing - if driverless and driven / other conventional road users (pedestrians, cylists, motorbikes etc) are segregated - some roads or lanes for driverless only, for example. Otherwise, there will always be the potential for a mistake or some deliberate action by a clever cunt to screw up the driverless system.

Think of the horse on a country road, wobbly cyclist who hits a pothole when the car is 5m behind them, the arse in a hurry who pulls out of a side road / lane on M-way into a gap that’s too small, knowing that the driverless car that’s approaching will slow down for them, or whatever takes your fancy. Will the programming predict the combinations of events that can lead to dangerous situations and act ahead of time to reduce the risk, as we can? Likewise, will it be polite when another road user needs a little help to get out onto a busy road, past an obstruction etc?

The plod, ROSPA, IAM and others train people to think ahead in this way, but I fear it will be some time before sensors, programming and vehicle networking will give the same sort of safety performance that we could have already. [Brief jaunt on hobbyhorse; why the hell don’t we all do a re-test every 5 or 10 years, or after a significant event / accident? Why aren’t we expected to upgrade our skills to take account of changing technology, traffic and road conditions? Why is there so little incentive for us to do appropriate advanced training to prove that we can be safe drivers?]

I’m watching with interest, but you’d have to pay me quite a lot to travel in a driverless vehicle at this point. I’d want to know a lot more about the design safety requirements, test, evaluation and acceptance procedures by the manufacturers and real-life safety performance before I go near one (must watch the Guy Martin thing) :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


While not dissmissing any of that, the system are already good at this very early stage, and will only get better.

Yes there are lots of ifs and buts and maybes - but compared with the breathtaking incompetence, stupidity, arrogance, recklessness, selfishness and laziness of so many drivers can it really be worse?

It won’t be flawless, but neither is what we have now.


The really clever trick would be to put these idjits into driverless cars first, but I fear there will be many who can’t afford or won’t want to make the change, and they will be the source of the trouble I was getting at…


Sadly, there seems to be unwonted squeamishness amongst the powers-that-be concerning the much-needed cull of these cretins.


Time is precious, think of all the beneficial things you could do for mankind if you could curb crawl ‘limbs’ free




Road rage incident on the way.



Personally I don’t see a problem.

I send the driverless car to Aldi - empty.

I follow in the Astra and do the weekly shop.

Load the car and send it home.

Drive down the local and get blind drunk. Taxi home. Unload car.

Astra gets stolen - insurance claim in progress - taxi fare paid.


for this plan to work, it needs to be realistic at all stages…


It stuff does everything for us, is it worth living?


There was a lot more drudgery in the past: washing, cooking with cheap ingredients etc was a full time job. Many ‘male’ jobs (when it was mostly men that went to work) have since been replaced by machines as well - mining, basic clerical, simple manufacturing etc.

We now do much more interesting jobs, in the main. It’s progress. Many have railed against it, but few would choose to go back (Brexit notwithstanding). I think that life is a lot more fun now than it was 50+ years ago.

I do wonder when we’ll get the huge increase in leisure time that we were promised in the 70s. It seems to me that we have chosen (or had chosen for us) to have more interesting work than more leisure time.

With regard to driverless cars, we’ll be able to work on our commute (or watch a movie), and I really fail to see a downside. I would expect that driving will become more of a hobby, so people will have track days etc more if they want to have fun driving.


Actually I’ve heard it argued that we chose to have more money (i.e. we simply took up extra work as our old work was done away with) rather than more leisure, and we then converted the money into more stuff. It seems that in a competitive society it takes a good deal of willpower to deny your kids the stuff that other kids are getting as a consequence of their parents continuing to work full time.



For me driving is almost always a spectacularly tedious chore, so in this instance, it would improve the quality of my life, Sam’s too.

There’s a limit - I’m sure the same tech progress will soon yield a robot that can take your Rosie, or my Maddie and Max walkies - but bollocks to that! I dunno about you, but that’s the best bit of my day, even this time of year.

We can pick and choose what tech we adopt. :+1:



I’m not concerned by this at all. During the current long term tests of Google’s car on public roads, accident rates per thousand miles have all been lower than those of human drivers.

As for unscrupulous drivers gaming the system, I don’t see it as any different to the situation we have today where certain drivers take advantage of others without regard.

The tech is already at the point where most of the adoption barriers are legal and regulatory.


That scary moment you realise it’s actually more lifelike and intelligent than the real thing…
#Ivanka Trump

Also: wasn’t he “Tink” in “Lovejoy”?


Which one is the dummy?


it is certainly getting there. But there are still some technological hurdles - in particular the ability of an autonomous vehicle to operate in poor weather. It is interesting to note that the 2017 Waymo Safety report refers to the fact that their vehicles are designed to operate in “inclement weather” which they define as “light to moderate rain”!

It is well know that the performance of Lidar is affected by rain/snow. I believe that most of the testing Waymo has done has been in locations that receive very little rain. Things are moving along switftly though.


Thought this referred to the photo until I read further