VIDEO | Meet The Self Driving Convoys of Tomorrow
Our highways will soon be taken up by vehicle convoys that are self-driving with cutting edge technology that will allow the user to “sit back and enjoy a relaxed lunch”.
Yes the future for motorists are certainly relaxed it wont be long until steam rooms and jacuzzis are installed in the back of lorry cabs.
For the rest of the highways sector and motorists alike many worries regarding the new road trains will spring to mind. It is one thing if a road worker is killed due to human error quite another if it was a robot. Go watch Will Smiths I-Robot to see what Im talking about.
Volvo are heading this kind of driving revolution with a follow the leader type of technology that will allow multiple HGVs and cars to be driving in tandem. The innovation works by having a front driver in control of their own car allowing other vehicles to latch on and join the conga line.
A series of laser sensors and infra-red cameras will be the hardware responsible for making all this possible.
Volvo said in a statement: “The project aims to deliver improved comfort for drivers who can now spend their time doing other things while driving.
“The project is addressing the three cornerstone transportation issues of environment safety and congestion while at the same time encouraging driver acceptance through the prospect of increased driver comfort.”
Driverless convoys are coming sooner than you may think. The car giant has already successfully completed tests during its Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE) programme in 2012.
Now the pressure is on the Department for Transport to do their own road tests. They have already announced last month that safety laws regarding autonomous vehicles are being currently reviewed.
A government source said: “There are potential benefits notably reduced costs for haulage firms and reduced congestion for motorists so there is sense in looking into it”
The AA otherwise known as every drivers cautious dad have sprung to action warning that self-driving lorries could be a hindrance to road users.
“It’s a complicated one and road users will naturally have concerns about it” said Paul Watters head of transport policy at the AA. “If the lorries are following each other closely it might be hard to spot the road signs on the near side of the motorway.
“Putting it into practice would mean a complete redesign of the signage system. It would also make exit and entry very difficult on motorways so the convoys would have to separate at every junction.”
Tests on UK roads will take place as early as 2015 but the Department of Transport appeared more cautious in a later statement: No decision has been reached on a trial using this new technology. However road safety remains of paramount importance and will not be compromised.”
A study by the AA found the technology is met by some stigma as only 65% of poll recipients said they would prefer driving normally in a car than it being autonomous.Written by Phil Adams
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