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The Masked Tulip

Self-driving vehicles - coming soon to a street near you

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I was talking about self-driving cars yesterday. The more I think about the implications the more I think that they're a total lemon; Clive Sinclair's C5 in the second decade of the 21st century.

They're only going to work properly on suitable road networks. There are many situations where they just won't work all of which I experience regularly:

snarled up roundabouts where you have to go outside your lane to get round

roundabouts with no obvious priority where it's about edging forward without being too pushy

single track roads where who reverses depends on the other vehicle (milk tanker - you're reversing) and where the passing places are

broken down vehicles on two track roads where who goes is a mixture of priority and momentum


In all of these situations, and many others, self-driving cars will have no chance. They'll just sit there, unable to safely go forwards, unable to decide to go back, and just block everything.

So you'll need to take over in all of those situations and do the difficult bits whilst the car does the easy bits that cruise control / lane warning / distance to car in front tech have already made effortless.

It's a lemon.

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First time I've seen the Autonomous Leaf reviewed and most of footage of Tesla have been from the US. So for us this is more of a real life UK view of how these cars would work on our roads.

Pretty damned impressive. Low hours of testing on UK roads too if the 1,000 hours is correct as that is nothing, so nowhere near tuned to UK road conditions. Mind you most likely they are travelling along a known route that might already had the metrics tweaked to iron out any particular issues.




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