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grumpy the 7th
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Driverless cars
So I presume that we wont need insurance as they CANT crash BUT! can they be programmed to drive in the mode of the owner? Oldies in Toyota Yaris mode\" class=\"smiley\" />, ladies will be able to put their lippy on\" class=\"smiley\" />, we can use mobiles\" class=\"smiley\" /> and Caterham owners can set it to blat mode here
Roger Ford
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What makes you think they can't crash? More interesting is the question of who is responsible when they do - or when they break the law. Is it the manufacturer of car / designer of the software, or the owner of the vehicle? I like the idea of personalities though. Perhaps we could get them to shout "off the road you lycra clad pillocks - I pay road tax you know".
AntonyH
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"The government wants to signal that Britain can be a leader in such technology." By, um, permitting its use now it's been pretty much perfected and extensively tested overseas. Generally though, great news, it'll let the current crop of idiots concentrate fully on their texting, tweeting, Facebook posting, iPad games, phone calls, emails etc without also pretending to be driving. Should make the roads safer all round. The only caveat should be, if you have a self-driving car, you should be absolutely unable to take control while it's in motion. Pretty much by definition you'll not have been concentrating on your surroundings up to that point, so anything you do is most likely to be a panicked, knee-jerk reaction based on insufficient information to make the right choices and will therefore most likely make any situation worse. Presumably also they'll be unable to exceed the speed limit, but will be confident to drive at said limit where conditions allow. So, hopefully, no more following someone at 42mph along an NSL road with no overtaking opportunities (but where 60 would be safe), then seeing them sail off into the distance, still doing 42mph, as you drop to the 30 limit through the village, leaving them too far in front to be able to overtake on the short straight bit as you get back into NSL... So mostly, good news all round. ...although, if they also can't tailgate (defined as, not leaving enough space to completely stop within at the speed you're travelling), average traffic speeds are going to plummet. Or, for the same money as a driverless car, you could buy a bus pass every year for the rest of your life, a bicycle, a decent pair of shoes to walk to the bus stop, and call a taxi for the rare occasions when all of these options aren't sufficient. And a Caterham for when you actually want to do some driving. Edited by - AntonyH on 30 Jul 2014 09:55:15

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Red SLR
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Google cars have now done 700,000 miles in auto mode. 2 crashes, one in manual mode - the other rear ended when it was sat at a red traffic light. Zero crashes in auto mode. Fairly good stats IMHO!
Doug phillips
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These will work well, for people with a disability giving them the freedom of travel . But apart from that, I don't really see the point \" class=\"smiley\" /> Great technology though.
Domus
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Mrs Domus is type 1 diabetic, she has her licence reviewed every 3 years. If she fails to get it renewed next time around will she be able to use one of these auto cars?

Peter Haslam

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Jonathan Kay
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Jonathan Kay
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Quoting Domus: Mrs Domus is type 1 diabetic, she has her licence reviewed every 3 years. If she fails to get it renewed next time around will she be able to use one of these auto cars?Not yet, unless anyone claims to understand what this announcement means in practice. At some point in the future: almost certainly. Jonathan
Red SLR
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Quoting Domus: Mrs Domus is type 1 diabetic, she has her licence reviewed every 3 years. If she fails to get it renewed next time around will she be able to use one of these auto cars? I think its going to be a long time before we see anything that will drive normal UK roads. Motorways - maybe 5 to 10 years, but surface roads it could take a lot longer than that.
wag
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I think we know that a modern driverless car would be safer than one driven by the average human. It seems silly that they might not be allowed because of doubt over who could be held responsible if (when) they do malfunction.
ChrisC
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I find it difficult to believe a driverless car is a real option when a modern sat nav gets lost in the real world, and that technology has been around more than fifteen years now.