UK road safety body voices concerns about autonomy

LONDON, England – IAM RoadSmart in the UK is concerned that increasing vehicular autonomy could make drivers lazy and over-reliant on gadgets – with far reaching negative implications for their potential reduction of road injuries and deaths.

RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road-safety charity, strongly supports this conclusion from a March 2017 House of Lords science and technology Ccommittee report titled ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The future?’

The report sets out recommendations for the British government’s policy and investment decisions involving maximum economic and safety benefits from autonomous vehicles.

‘CONCERNED ABOUT HACKING’

RoadSmart members are also concerned about the ease with which an autonomous car – occupied or not – could be hacked with research showing there are many places in a modern car through which security could be breached.

READ MORE features about autonomous vehicles on Carman’s Corner

Neil Greig, RoadSmart’s policy and research director, told The Corner through a media release: “We are not keen to give up full vehicle control and we’re very concerned about hacking so we welcome the technology committee’s view that cyber security is important.

“The implications for future driver competence and training as we become more reliant on technology are still far from clear.”

PERILS OF COMPLACENCY

Greig added: “It’s vital that the government support the committee’s call for further research.”

RoadSmart says it is already responding with research grants and will host a conference in October 2017 to discuss management of the transition to autonomous cars.”

The House of Lords’ committee said in its report: “Autonomous cars could make drivers complacent and over-reliant on technology, particularly during an emergency when a driver might the slow to regain control.

“The government should prioritise and encourage research to study behavioural questions as part of any trials it might fund.”

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