[SystemSafety] UK and driverless cars

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 07:52:58 +0100

The UK government announced plans for driverless-car trials in a few areas yesterday. The Secretary of State for Business says that the UK is a "world leader" in driverless-car technology. That surprises me. With the DARPA Grand Challenge, and the Urban Challenge, and now Google driving autonomous cars for a number of years in California, I'd sort of thought the "world leaders" were California, followed at some distance by Boston and Oshkosh. I know that German car manufacturers are developing "driver assistance" technology and offering it in their new vehicles, so Germany is technogically somewhat high in the list, but the prevailing ethos here is "driver assistance" rather than driverless. The technology itself is of course mute on such philosophies.

I think that increasing automation is likely to aid road safety considerably. First, by increasing adherence to speed restrictions; second, by increasing awareness of vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists) and implementing reasonable avoidance technologies (such as suitable separation when overtaking cyclists).

Can people here can point me to who is doing what in the UK on autonomous public-road vehicles, and how it compares with other (known) efforts? Perhaps privately, if there are concerns that this is a niche subject.

[begin quote The Guardan iPad edition, today]

The chancellor announced the winners for the government’s driverless car funding competition, which will see consortiums in Greenwich, Coventry and Milton Keynes, and Bristol given the green light to conduct driverless car trials on public roads from 1 January. The three areas will be awarded up to £19m to conduct the trials, including the original £10m announced in July by the business secretary, Vince Cable, and a further £9m from the business and transport departments and the Treasury. Transport Research Laboratory in Greenwich will test an automated system in London; Ove Arup will trial road-going cars and autonomous transport in Coventry and Milton Keynes; and Bristol will host driverless cars and pods in the city centre. The projects are expected to last between 18 and 36 months. “The UK is a world leader in the development of driverless technology, and today’s announcement will see driverless cars take to city streets from 1 January,” said Cable. “This not only puts us at the forefront of this transformational technology, but it also opens up new opportunities for our economy and society.” Samuel Gibbs

[end quote]

PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, University of Bielefeld and Causalis Limited

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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Thu Dec 04 2014 - 07:53:11 CET

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