Driverless cars: Tech possible for UK motorways by 2026

  • Santa's Avatar
    Driverless cars could be on some UK roads by the end of 2026, the transport secretary has told the BBC.
    Mark Harper also said he expected to see the owners of those vehicles being able to travel without having to watch where they're going by the end of that year.
    Last month the government announced plans for new legislation to bring automated driving to UK roads.
    But, critics argue if the tech is not ready it could cause serious accidents.
  • 6 Replies

  • Rolebama's Avatar
    It will be interesting to see what happens with these laws. If it is decided that the manufacturer will be hald liable for a collision, I wonder how many companies will shelve their plans to build these cars?
    I do still hols to the belief that there is no such thing as a perfect computer.
  • Santa's Avatar
    It's also true that there is no such thing as a perfect human driver either.

    In reported road collisions in Great Britain in 2022 there were an estimated:
    • 1,695 fatalities, a decline of 3% compared to 2019.
    • 29,795 killed or seriously injured ( KSI ) casualties, a decline of 3% compared to 2019.
    • 136,002 casualties of all severities, a decline of 11% compared to 2019.


    Every one of them involved human drivers. 86 people every day are killed or seriously injured. A computer program that failed that badly would never get off the ground.
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    @Rolebama And no computer is fast enough to defeat human stupidity.
    The only way it will work is to have autonomous cars segregated from all other traffic, which will only work on motorways where they can dedicate one lane exclusively to autonomous cars, and that won't go down well.
  • Drivingforfun's Avatar
    I am not a programmer of any sort Santa but not sure I agree with your last sentence. I can honestly say I've never used a computer program that didn't have some sort of glitch or bug in it (however minor). I come across them every single day, probably every hour.

    On a computer it's annoying...but in a vehicle it could manifest as the steering malfunctioning, swerving into oncoming traffic, randomly slamming on the brakes, etc. More than annoying but from the machine's point of view just a bug in the programming.

    That said, if they do make it reliable enough, I'm in agreement from the stats point of view. I mentioned on another forum discussing AI doctors & surgeons...but could be applied to autonomous driving...if avoidable deaths were halved that's surely a success not a failure?
  • Rolebama's Avatar
    We, collectively, have been building motor cars for over 100 years, and yet we are still gettig recalls for basic mehanical problems with a few manufacturers getting away with 'advisories'. Some recalls and advisories involve basic stuff, so there is absolutely no way I will trust them with advanced electronics.
    FWIW: I know of at least three computer companies who sold their products with faulty solder joints. I have no idea if these companies are involved with systems for autonomous vehicles.
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    We, collectively, have been building motor cars for over 100 years, and yet we are still gettig recalls for basic mehanical problems with a few manufacturers getting away with 'advisories'. Some recalls and advisories involve basic stuff, so there is absolutely no way I will trust them with advanced electronics.
    FWIW: I know of at least three computer companies who sold their products with faulty solder joints. I have no idea if these companies are involved with systems for autonomous vehicles.
    And Microsoft Windows was released nearly 40 years ago but it still has more bugs than a junkyard dog.
    The more complex any machine or software becomes, the less reliable it is.