Moves towards driverless cars must not produce lazy drivers reliant on gadgets
growing levels of autonomy could make motorists lazy and over reliant on
gadgets - with far reaching implications for the potential reduction of people
killed and seriously injured on the roads, according to IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s
biggest independent road safety charity.
responding to a report by the House of Lords Science and Technology
Committee called ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The
future?’, which, among
its key recommendations, included a call for the government to commission and
encourage research into studying driver behaviour (Newsfeed: week commencing 13 March).
The report challenged the idea that drivers would take
back control of an autonomous vehicle in an emergency.
It said: “Autonomous
cars could have negative implications for drivers’ competence, making drivers
complacent and overly reliant on technology. This is of particular concern in
emergency situations, where a driver may react slowly to taking back control of
a vehicle. It may be that the risks associated with this are too great
to tolerate. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to lower the number of road
fatalities. But the eradication, or near eradication, of human error will only
be realised with full automation.”
IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “The implications for
future driver competence and training as we become more reliant on technology
are still far from clear.
RoadSmart is already responding to this call by providing research grants and
organising a conference in October on how we safely manage the transition to
Government should give priority to commissioning and encouraging research
studying behavioural questions and ensure it is an integral part of any trials