back to article Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

A cyclists' association wants software developers for any "errors" in driverless car software to be "criminally prosecuted" in Blighty. Cycling UK's submission to the Parliamentary committee considering the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill (AEV Bill) also suggested that owners of driverless cars should be liable for …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fair enough, but...

    We also need legislation to make the (small number) of nutter cyclist legally accountable when they cause an accident (though a significant number are unable to be questioned after-the-fact).

    Perhaps it's also time they were required to carry insurance?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      "Perhaps it's also time they were required to carry insurance?"

      Be good if all motorists did that:

      - https://www.mib.org.uk/media-centre/news/2016/september/one-million-uninsured-drivers-still-too-many/

      - https://www.churchill.com/press-office/releases/2016/uninsured-driving-hotspots-in-the-uk

      Almost all cyclists do carry insurance - either as part of membership of organisations like British Cycling, Cycling UK, Audax UK etc...) or through their household insurance.

      Yes - your household insurance almost certainly has a public liability clause which covers you when out cycling.

      Insuring a cyclist costs a few pounds a year - because they simply don't have the destructive capacity of a tonne of metal which can propel itself at 100mph...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        "Be good if all motorists did that:"

        There's a big difference in the form of committing a criminal offence between being legally required to do something but not doing and not doing it with there being no legal requirement.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        > "Perhaps it's also time they were required to carry insurance?"

        >>Be good if all motorists did that:

        --------------------

        All motorist are required to have insurance.

        1. Mike Scott 1

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          Correct - and if they don't have it, whether there has been a claim made on it or not - they can be prosecuted.

    2. Mark 110

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      I think you will find that already exists, the legislation. Just needs enforcing.

      As for requiring them (of which I am one) to have insurance. It doesn't seem to stop car drivers (of which I am also one) behaving like nutters. Its not entirely a bad idea though. Maybe you need insurance to ride on A roads where risks are higher because of higher speeds. It would be a bit harsh requiring your kid to need insurance to cycle around a residential estate with their mates.

    3. Stuart 22

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      "We also need legislation to make the (small number) of nutter cyclist legally accountable when they cause an accident (though a significant number are unable to be questioned after-the-fact).

      Perhaps it's also time they were required to carry insurance?"

      Can we focus this on the small group of nutters who have taken over the venerable Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC), sacked the people who knew about Touring and rebranded themselves as 'Cycling UK' without even consulting and getting approval from their members in order to set themselves up as the spokes-people of all cyclists.

      Well, not this one - although I'm a still a member - but only for the insurance! Oh, and I pay the same amount of Road Tax as a Toyota Pius driver ...

      Roll on autonomous vehicles. They have got to be an improvement on most of the 80% of motorists who consider themselves 'above average'.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        " It would be a bit harsh requiring your kid to need insurance to cycle around a residential estate with their mates."

        Why?

        1. Alan Hope

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          Because the next obvious step is an absolute requirement for insurance for children running. A fast moving child can knock someone over you know!

        2. Mark 110

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          "" It would be a bit harsh requiring your kid to need insurance to cycle around a residential estate with their mates."

          Why?"

          Because that would make the world a bit shitter than it already is. I used to play football in the road. If a car came we'd pick the jumpers (goal posts) up. Let the car past then carry on. When the fuck did car drivers get to demand that resiential streets were theirs and theirs alone.

          No wonder there's an obesity crisis when its not safe (because of self obsessed idiots who want to be be able to drive around residential estates at 30-40 miles an hour) to let your kids out to play in the street. Go f yourself with something embedded with nails.

          1. Mike Scott 1

            Re: Fair enough, but...

            Taking this example ... Cars are very expensive to repair these days. A teenage cyclist is larking about with his mates, and crashes into your perfectly legally parked car, perhaps even on your drive - How do you react? Cheerfully call your insurance company and loose your no claims bonus, or dig into your pocket to pay for potentially thousands of pounds of repairs?

        3. Phil Lord

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          Because the cost of policing and administering the insurance would outweight the actually payouts of the insurance. Cyclists cost little infrastructure, and cause very little damage to others. In short, why do you not have insurance for walking around the streets. It's about as dangerous.

      2. CustardGannet

        @ Stuart22

        ('Cycling UK' ... set themselves up as) the spokes-people of all cyclists.

        Ha, ha ! Nice one, Centurion !

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      We also need legislation to make the (small number) of nutter cyclist

      Absolutely. I wish I could give you +10.

      I cycle and maintain the cycles for the family where everyone cycles. Some of us clock > 4k per year cycling in an urban environment. As a responsible cyclist I would like to sign under this, despite knowing that it is a very tough one in the UK. Just to be clear - I also drive (clocking > 18k in a some years).

      UK has no identity document requirement, so the only option the police has it to impound the cycle and/or arrest the person on the spot for the worst cases. I remember when they used to do the former (I have never seen them do the latter). Nowdays - they cannot be arsed. As some other people noted - the legislation is mostly there, just nobody can be bothered to enforce it.

      There are plenty of people who deserve being arrested and/or having their precious >400£ bicycles put into a garbage press in front of them too. I see anything between 2 and 5 idiots per mile cycled who jump red lights, bunny hop in front of cars, have no lights while wearing dark clothing during the hours of darkness, ignore priority at roundabouts and worst of all have no brakes (the f*** fixie riders).

      As far as the legislation - all for it. The case when a woman got killed in broad daylight by a cyclist on a fixie without brakes and he GOT AWAY WITH IT with only 19th century legislation being applicable comes to mind. Cycling dangerously and cycling on a not road-worthy bicycle should be punishable offences. Same as it is for driving and cars.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

        He got away with it in as much as he is now serving an 18 month sentence, yes.

        Also the 19th century legislation is the same legislation for murder and manslaughter.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

          He got away with it in as much as he is now serving an 18 month sentence, yes.

          A driver who deliberately removed his brakes and went on the road to kill a pedestrian by driving like a nutter would have been given up to 15 years, The more common number in a case where the modifications to the vehicle have been deliberate is ~ 7 years. He got only a year and a half.

          Do I need to say more?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

            Actually, he didn't remove his brakes, the bicycle in question was sold without brakes. It was not supposed to be used on the road and should not have been.

            This was a very rare case. The guy is an idiot, no one is defending his behavior.

            However, there have been many cases where a driver of a motor vehicle has caused the death of a pedestrian or cyclist though driving without due car / dangerous driving and completely got away with it.

            For example:

            https://beyondthekerb.org.uk/somethings-very-seriously-wrong-here/

            1. The Nazz Silver badge

              Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

              Another recent case, i don't have the link available, but wasn't there a case recently where a 26yo woman turned into a side street and wiped out a person already on a zebra crossing? Prosecuted yes, but found absolutely innocent of any wrongdoing. The report also mentionned she was a legal bod. Whether that had any bearing is kleft open to question. One has to ask what the fuck is going on.

              On the matter of software liability, it should be a completely moot point.

              The law requires that a motorised vehicle when overtaking a cyclist should give that cyclist the equivalent space of a vehicle, say 4-5ft. There have recently been a few instances where Police have acted against drivers who fail to do so.

              So, simply program this into any autonomous vehicle software. If, in the 0.1ms it takes to decide, it isn't safe to overtake then the autonomous vehicle doesn't do so. Problem solved, end of.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

            It's more uncommon to see cyclists obeying the law, pavements, pedestrian only areas, red lights, pedestrian crossings, one way streets etc. etc. all regularly abused by them and yet raising that seems only to bring the nonsensical argument 'cars do more damage, when they stop we'll stop'.

            It really is time to do something about mandatory insurance and identification plates on bikes so these idiots can be identified and reported.

          3. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

            "A driver who deliberately removed his brakes and went on the road to kill a pedestrian by driving like a nutter would have been given up to 15 years, The more common number in a case where the modifications to the vehicle have been deliberate is ~ 7 years. He got only a year and a half."

            Unlikely to be true. Construction and Use Regulation violation is a summary offence, so magistrate only. Usual scenario is a fixed penalty notice and 3 points or the same at Court with a slightly larger fine.

            http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1986/1078/part/II/chapter/B/made

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

              This guy was the typical entitled cyclist that gets us all a bad name. Didn't think he was riding dangerously and complained that HIS life was ruined. c**t.

              http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/15/cyclist-who-hit-little-girl-on-the-pavement-denies-riding-his-bike-dangerously-5297096/

          4. %%#root

            Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

            Fixies actually have a fixed drive train.

            When the back wheel moves, the cranks and pedals move.

            It has a brake which requires stopping by your legs on the pedals.

            Some skilful riders are quite adept at lifting the back wheel and locking it while it's in the air. However it takes longer to do this than to squeeze a pair of brake levers.

            In my opinion they should be illegal to ride without a pair of hand lever brakes also. And they're so inconvenient to ride,

            Can't go between a car and a gutter,

            Pedals keep turning etc.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

              Fixies actually have a fixed drive train.

              ...

              In my opinion they should be illegal to ride without a pair of hand lever brakes also

              This is the case, hence why they were able to press charges against the rider who was using a track bike, that didn't have hand brake levers, on the public road.

              If the guy had brakes fitted then based on the evidence made public, there seems to be no real evidence that they were riding dangerously or wantonly hence the court would then had to give greater weight to the extent to which the lady pedestrian caused the accident by not attending to her surroundings and instead attending to her phone.

              There is a good write up here on the case http://thecyclingsilk.blogspot.co.uk

        2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

          "legislation for murder"

          Murder is contrary to Common Law.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        "The case when a woman got killed in broad daylight by a cyclist on a fixie without brakes and he GOT AWAY WITH IT with only 19th century legislation being applicable comes to mind."

        Motorists have been killing other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians for fucking decades and getting away with it.

        But one cyclist accidentally knocks over a pedestrian who was on her phone and not paying attention to traffic when crossing the road and you're all up in arms, bloody hypocrites.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          But one cyclist accidentally knocks over a pedestrian who was on her phone and not paying attention to traffic when crossing the road and you're all up in arms, bloody hypocrites.

          If a driver was driving a car with no working brakes and driving an a "wanton and furious" manner then everybody would be up in arms too. Think it through.

          1. labourer

            Re: Fair enough, but...

            I think you make the point you were arguing against quite well, the number car drivers that kill pedestrians due to outrageous driving far outstrips the number of cyclists and in general there isn't anywhere near the outcry that this particular tosser on a bike caused.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          SHE was on the fucking PAVEMENT.

          You know, the bit for PEDESTRIANS only.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            SHE was on the fucking PAVEMENT.

            SHE (Kim Briggs) was on the ROAD - you know, the bit for CARS, LORRIES, CYCLES etc...

            She stepped out, without looking properly into his path.

            Again, this is not defending him in any way for riding a cycle on the ROAD that was not suitable.

      3. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        Wow . I remeber when this idot killed a lady on a fixy bike in san franscisco . THis ass was bragging about it and was upset that his bike was wrecked. Well the convicted him of vehcilar homicide.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      I used to work with a chap, great bloke, kind and helpful but once his lycra was on his personality changed. Every few month he would arrive in the morning a bit scraped up and be swearing that another pedestrian had stepped out in front of him. Other days he could be jumping for joy because he had shaved 30 seconds off his 40 mile cycle journey to the office in central London. He never seemed to get it that the pedestrians he kept hitting did not realize they were intruding on his personal race track.

      1. leaway2

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        "All the pedestrians he was hitting", really? Its a good job he is hitting them them and not a 1 ton car travelling in excess of 30mph.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      Having been nearly knocked down by a cyclist who was on the path, at full speed I totally agree. He rang his bicycle bell but made no attempt to slow down.

      I think he was in the same mentality as the ones that run the red lights in London - wearing the full Lycra like they are in a road race.

    7. Wibble

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      Make those bastard pedestrians have insurance. And children. And dogs. And cats. And all those squirrels...

      Yay, says the insurance industry...

      If a cyclist causes an accident, just the same way as a pedestrian, then they are liable? Except the bill's possibly picked up by the Motor Insurers Bureau -- which was implemented when insurance became compulsory -- or the car driver's insurance.

      Relative to the number of cage drivers having accidents, how many are caused by bicycles and not by car drivers behaving recklessly?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        Make those bastard pedestrians have insurance.

        Not a totally stupid idea given how many pedestrians have a death wish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WllnlHvWT88

        Also if you watch things like the Women's Tour and other cycling road races, you'll regularly see people doing similar (including OAP's in their buggies) and even dodging around marshalls to cross the road directly in front of a pack of cyclists giving their all...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          @Roland6 .... " death wish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WllnlHvWT88 "

          Interesting video. The aggressive nut on the bike doing the filming seems to think that the road belongs to him and no one else has a right to be there. If a motorist were to drive like that he would be charged with dangerous driving.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      Lycra clad ones typically know what they are doing and are assertive enough so that I know what they are doing too.

      Now that the nights are getting dark early though I've a lot of people wearing normal clothes on bikes with only a muddy rear reflector to help me pick them out on 60MPH country roads.

      We need it mandated that cyclists have to have something making their bikes more visible, the lack of them wearing helmets, never mind reflective material on my daily commute is terrifying. I've no problem with sharing the road, but I don't want to hit anyone yet few seem to give a toss about their own safety.

      1. %%#root

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        I agree mate high vis should be compulsory.

        And lidar reflectors specifically designed for autonomous cars.

        I'll personally install them on all my friends bikes when they become available

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        "We need it mandated that cyclists have to have something making their bikes more visible,"

        You mean like the existing law that mandates rear reflectors and lights at night?

        I drove a few miles into town and back last night. Only two out of the nine cyclists I saw had lights fitted and working. One, with no front light and poor, barely visible rear light shot out from a foot path between bushes straight across the road. If not for the roadworks I might have been 30' further on and scratched the underside of my car on his bike. Luckily I was still far enough back to slow and avoid him. Daytime cyclist IME seem to generally reasonable, but at this time of year when it's dark by rush hour, there seem to be influx of morons on bikes with no lights, dark clothes and sense of personal invincibility.

        Having said that, I almost got taken out on the way back because a car driver didn't see the left turn only sign for the left lane, nor the road markings and went for the second exit off the roundabout that I was heading for from the right lane as directed by the signage. And then there was a car driving along with no lights on...always on dashboard lights and super bright LED daylight running lights, especially in well lit areas seem to distract some people from actually checking their lights are on.

        1. keith_w

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          "And then there was a car driving along with no lights on...always on dashboard lights and super bright LED daylight running lights, especially in well lit areas seem to distract some people from actually checking their lights are on."

          There's a lot of that goes on. I think that the console lights should not be on unless the headlights are on. Or that they get rid of the light switch entirely and go with auto on all the time.

          As for those idiots in Lycra, there are tons of those around here and they seem to think that they own the road, especially the smaller rural roads within our region (and probably all the others as well). There are tons of non-Lycra clad cyclists who don't seem to believe in lights or reflectors either and do believe in dark clothes are the thing for riding your bike at night.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Fair enough, but...

            "Or that they get rid of the light switch entirely and go with auto on all the time."

            Oooooh....no! Those stupid automatic lights come on far too early in "better safe than sorry" mode and the programmers don't seem to understand the correct use of sidelights. They can be very distracting and even dazzling in low light levels where under normal circumstances headlights would not be used. Especially those high intensity ones.

            The highway code, IMHO is being breached by these automatic headlights and by high intensity headlights.

            See http://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/lighting-requirements.html

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Fair enough, but...

          And then there was a car driving along with no lights on

          There are a regular occurrence on the M1 & M6, you know when it's an idiot driving, as they don't put the lights on when they enter a section without street lights...

          Mind you, I'm sure many drivers can't see very much (at night) anyway because of: the size, position and brightness of their satnav display.

    9. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      "Perhaps it's also time they were required to carry insurance?"

      The case for compulsory insurance is that motorists can and do kill people when it goes pear-shaped. That's also the reason that only third-party insurance is compulsory.

      Cyclists tend not to kill people when they get it wrong, in the same way that pedestrians don't. I'm sure you can find counter-examples of both, but the numbers are so insignificant that society doesn't feel there is a problem to be addressed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        Absolutely right, the amount of damage/injury a cyclist can cause is much smaller than a car or other motorised vehicle.

        So that means third party insurance for cyclists should be very cheap and you'd have to be a completely selfish twat to not have it.

    10. Phil Lord

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      We do. It's very old legislation, but it exists and it's comes with extremely significant sentences.

      Just to be clear, though, cyclists can cause lethal injuries, but statistically, it's a very small problem. More pedestrains are killed every year by cars mounting the pavement and running into them than my cyclists at all (about 100 to >10).

      In fact, it's likely that the dust from car brakes cause more deaths per annum through respiratory disease than cyclists.

      In short, nutter cyclists are anti-social. Car drivers kill people in industrial numbers.

      1. %%#root

        Re: Fair enough, but...

        And truck brakes used to have asbestos in them.

        And there are still leaded fuels? Pb?

        Or did they phase that out?

        Electric cars are going to be silent.

        I'd be urging people not to wear headphones when cross walking riding...

    11. terrythetech

      Re: Fair enough, but...

      As it happens a great number of cyclist do have insurance. I did when commuting in London by virtue of being a member of the London Cycling Campaign (liability up to £1million). When in dispute with a man who ran me down by driving into the side of me his girlfriend claimed that cyclists don't have insurance. Both the girlfriend and the policeman attending were surprised - they'd never heard of it before, they just assumed that I wasn't insured. I'd like to know where the idea that cyclists in particular cause accidents and that they are not held accountable came from though. Despite one pedestrian being killed by a cyclist recently it is much more likely that a car driver will cause a cyclist to have an accident and cyclists are way more vulnerable than car drivers.

  2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Loophole : outsource dev, then when the sueball arrives (car sideswiped cyclist etc) then lob said sueball onwards to the outsourced dev...

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      The cyclists have a point, but in a roundabout way: Why should the owner of an automatic car be liable for *any* expense that was not directly of their own doing? Sure they should have insurance for many aspects, but in the event of the self-driving software being at fault to any degree the car company should pick up the whole bill.

      Sadly I see moving the costs to the public, via the insurer's premiums, will not result in enough pressure on the software development to deliver something safe and reliable.

      I mean look at Google going for this given they never provide anything but 'beta' software, and never guarantee anything in the way of functionality, safety or security.

      1. Mark 110

        Its the car owners self driving software.

        They bought it and used it. Of course they are objectively liable. They may have recourse to further sue the supplier of the car but that shouldn't be the victims problem. The victim needs to be compensated by the owner of the car that hit them. Its not the victims fault the car owner bought crap software.

        --

        Sorry - that's how the law works usually.

        1. Bent Metal
          Stop

          *bought* it?

          You can bet your bottom dollar that we, the paying public, will never be allowed to *buy* the self-driving software. It'll be licensed to us, probably under insane terms that almost no-one will ever read.

          And that's not the future. It's already here...

          https://www.wired.com/2015/04/dmca-ownership-john-deere/

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "Its the car owners self driving software."

          No it isn't. You've never read a EULA and obviously don't know what the L in EULA is for.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Sure they should have insurance for many aspects, but in the event of the self-driving software being at fault to any degree the car company should pick up the whole bill."

        Oh, absolutely! If the car is entirely self driving and any people inside (there may not be any!) will have no control over the situation other than to tell the car the required destination and maybe give an indication of urgency. The car, under the control of the software, will then make all the decisions so either the car itself is liable for injuries or damage caused or the supplier is. Certainly not the passenger(s).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I knew the cycling lobby would come out against autonomous vehicles the first time a cyclist is involved in a collision with one. Now they are pre-empting even that!

    1. Mark 110

      I am a cyclist and a driver.

      If the tech works I would trust autonomous vehicles much more than the meat driven ones when I'm cycling. Not sure what they are moaning about. Most cycle deaths would be avoided by either:

      a. Car drivers being a bit more aware and in less of a hurry

      b. Cyclists being better trained to not do silly things like enter HGV blindspots, undertake, ignore traffic controls. A lot need to be trained to control their road space a bit better as well, and do basic maintenance like pump their tyres up hard enough they can cycle in a straight line.

      I would be in favour of compulsory cycle training before you can go out in traffic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The thing about driverless cars is that they will almost certainly carry the means to analyse an accident after it has happened, and at that point it should be *very* easy to attribute blame, whether it is the software developer, the owner of the vehicle doing something stupid, or a cyclist or pedestrian doing something reckless.

      There needs to be a process in place for the relevant telemetry to be easily available to crash investigators in a standard format, and I doubt if anyone has started work on that yet.

      Speaking as a cyclist *and* a driver, I don't have a problem with the concept of driverless cars, as long as they aim to behave like a "perfect" driver *and* if it becomes apparent that a given software/hardware implementation controlling autonomous vehicles is flawed, vehicles using that implementation are banned from driving autonomously on the road until it's fixed, and if no fix is forthcoming, the autonomous capability should be permanently disabled. (A large number of angry owners should give manufacturers a good incentive to fix things promptly...)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "The thing about driverless cars is that they will almost certainly carry the means to analyse an accident after it has happened, and at that point it should be *very* easy to attribute blame, whether it is the software developer, the owner of the vehicle doing something stupid, or a cyclist or pedestrian doing something reckless."

        Given that we're frequently told that AI results in not even the developers being able to explain why a given decision was made this might not be at all certain, at least not without restricting the S/W to designs able to generate a continuous log of the reasons for each decision.

        1. ScottME

          Yeah but no but who's asking for the reasoning? Wouldn't the basic facts of location, direction, velocity, etc. together with sensor logs (camera images, video, etc.) be enough?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If the tech works I would trust autonomous vehicles much more than the meat driven ones when I'm cycling.

        True. But if I'm going to be prised out of my driver's seat (because AVs will become a government preferred norm under some spurious cost benefit analysis), can I demand that cyclists have their hands taken off the handlebars, and we have autonomous cycles?

        They'd be a lot safer for all concerned by the same logic. Obviously the cyclist wishes to pedal themselves along, and enjoy the urban environment, so what I'm envisaging is a sort of mobile, gyro-stabilised hamster wheel, in which the cyclist can pedal furiously to generate their energy, either battery stored electric, or direct mechanical drive through an auto-change gear set, but the autonomous cycle makes all directional and braking decisions. It would probably look a bit like a BMW C1, except for the rider pedalling furiously in the middle, who'd sadly a bit odd, although still a lot more normal than the weird alien-insect costumes that some cycling enthusiasts need to adopt for their road outings.

        Note: Cyclists, feel free to throw brickbats in return, it's what the article was posted to encourage!

        1. iron Silver badge

          Perhaps the autonomous cycle could look like this?

          https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/southpark/images/1/15/ITSP.jpg

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          "the cyclist can pedal furiously to generate their energy,"

          Isn't "cycling furiously" already illegal since about 1790 or something?

      3. The Nazz Silver badge

        Better still

        Make it a part of the Driving Test, not necessarily concurrently with that test but before gaining a licence that a person has to cycle 20 miles in an urban environment within a time of 2 hours,

        To include a route that passes a school between the hours of 2.30 and 4.00.

      4. ibmalone Silver badge

        If the tech works I would trust autonomous vehicles much more than the meat driven ones when I'm cycling. Not sure what they are moaning about. Most cycle deaths would be avoided by either:

        Think I agree, an autonomous vehicle is less likely to attempt the classic pull in before fully passing manoeuvre (or the pass-with-left-turn one), or try to squeeze between a cyclist and a traffic island. But making the manufacturers liable is important in that, they're not motivated to get you there any faster at the risk of cutting corners.

        There are lots of different classes of bad cyclists (doesn't mean they're in the majority), and there's a tendency to lump them together and use them as a straw man "what about?"-isms whenever people talk about improving cycling safety. (E.g. the tourists going the wrong way on cycle lanes on barclay's bikes have very little to do with some commuters bad habit of ignoring red lights.)

        A lot need to be trained to control their road space a bit better as well

        Waterloo bridge is currently being worked on, both directions single lane with no overtaking cyclists signs, but somehow when I get to the end of that there are cars behind me where previously there were cyclists. Odd that.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I would be in favour of compulsory cycle training before you can go out in traffic."

        Do schools no longer run the training and Cycling Proficiency Test these days? Back in the 70's, when traffic levels were much lower than today, that was pretty much a must have in our area and I assume it was a national thing. Surely with the much higher traffic levels of today, that training and certificate must be far more important to parents, teachers and road safety advocates than back then?

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          >Do schools no longer run the training and Cycling Proficiency Test these days?

          Its called 'Bikeability' these days and is what CyclingUK promote.

          Unfortunately, as fewer kids ride bikes to school, and schools have to pay for Bikeability, few offer the course...

          However, like the Cycling Proficiency, Bikeability focuses on roadcraft and doesn't really develop bike handling skills, such as the correct way to stop very quickly without going over the handlebars. To develop these skills, you really need to regularly attend sessions run by British Cycling accredited coaches.

      6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "There needs to be a process in place for the relevant telemetry to be easily available to crash investigators in a standard format, and I doubt if anyone has started work on that yet."

        Yes, something like a montage from the onboard cameras with speed and acceleration/braking in the OSD on a 10 minute loop? That should be very cheap to add to the cost and complexity of an AV since it's ust a few extra wire and a device the size of a USB pendrive. It could probably record obstacle proximity info quite easily too. 10 minutes worth of that basic data would almost certainly cover 99% of incidents.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While were at it....

    ..all cyclists over 18 to be insured.

    At the moment if a cyclist hits your car, you have the choice:

    1. Sue them

    2. Claim on you own insurance.

    And update the laws for cycling.

    It's not a dig a cyclists, but a common sense approach.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: While were at it....

      No need to sue, the amount of damage a bike could cause to your car would easily be small claims court level.

      Which laws in particular need updating? Based off the recent case I would agree we need parity with careless/dangerous driving, but those are charges which aren’t properly applied for motor vehicles as it is. The majority of road traffic offences, which includes cycling, all go unpunished.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: While were at it....

        "No need to sue, the amount of damage a bike could cause to your car would easily be small claims court level." ..... So how does that work after putting a gouge in the side of your car (or you if you are a pedestrian), they hop back on their slightly bent bike and zip off down an alley or weave through slow traffic till they are out of sight? It's not as if they even have a number plate that can be used to track them down to start legal action.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: While were at it....

        A cat caused £300 worth of damage to my car, crack in bumper, cheaper to replace than repair...and this is a fairly cheap car.

        Image cyclist hitting back of car (it happened to me years ago).

        Say a cracked rear bumper, dent in boot. You could easily looking at £1000 worth of damage.

        Like I said not a dig, but ALL road usage laws need to looked at, updated where needed AND enforced.

      3. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: While were at it....

        No need to sue, the amount of damage a bike could cause to your car would easily be small claims court level.

        Sadly you are wrong. What would amount to a $1000 repair on a standard car is enough to total a tesla with all of it's senors. Repainting a Tesla is enough to total it out . Theb there is the fact that there is only ahnd full of autobody shops that are authrized (as in tesla will sell parts to) fix teslas that drives up the cost.

    2. blcollier

      Re: While were at it....

      I'm riding my lightweight road bike, which has a carbon fibre frame, along a city street and crash into you when you cut across in front of me. I'm relatively OK, the bike is still rideable, but your car has a massive scratch across the bonnet. I get back on the bike and cycle off, after telling you what a muppet you've been.

      It's like any other hit and run: how is insurance going to help in this case? To complicate matters, I've got no registration number so you can't report my reg number to the police. Do I need a registration number on my bike as well as insurance?

      It might *sound* like a sensible idea to require cyclists to have insurance but it's not entirely practical. If that were to happen however I could almost guarantee you that the cost of car insurance overall would go up; more and more cyclists would be claiming on their insurance, and in many cases the car driver is going to be liable. If I was involved in a cycling accident that wasn't my fault and I have insurance, you can be damn sure that I would claim on the insurance for the damage - and you can be damn sure that my insurance would do everything they can to establish that someone else was at fault and recover costs from the other party. If there's one thing that insurance companies are good at it's finding ways to avoid spending money.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: While were at it....

        I'm riding my lightweight road bike, which has a carbon fibre frame, along a city street and crash into you when you I cut across in front of me you>.

        FTFY

        1. Wibble

          Re: While were at it....

          I'm riding my lightweight road bike, which has a carbon fibre frame, along a city street and crash into you when you I cut across in front of me you. FTFY

          The biggest nause when riding a cycle in a town is the ignorant drivers that don't leave enough space for a cycle to pass on the inside when they're stationary and puking out fumes. So the cyclist has to cut outside of that car in the centre of the road, then cut back in front to get to the inside lane if the next car hasn't blocked it.

          I fecking hate it when a car goes past and immediately closes up *my* space and then they stop a few metres ahead in traffic. I now have to pull around that stationary car and you whinge about it...

          Must add axe attachments to the handlebars.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: While were at it....

            "I fecking hate it when a car goes past and immediately closes up *my* space and then they stop a few metres ahead in traffic."

            If there is no cycle path, I've got news for your budy - it's not your space. You have no right of way over any other road user just because you are on a bike. You get to queue with all other road users, you self righteous, self entitled cyclists.

            1. Wibble

              Re: While were at it....

              If there is no cycle path, I've got news for your budy - it's not your space. You have no right of way over any other road user just because you are on a bike. You get to queue with all other road users, you self righteous, self entitled cyclists.

              Riding along about 75cm from the kerb. Car overtakes leaving a clear metre alongside cyclist. Then veers in front of cyclist slowing down or stopping, closing up the 75 cm such that it's impossible to cycle past resulting in cyclist having to slow down. Yet there's space for the cyclist to pull out and cycle around the car or queue on the outside; i.e. the car driver just blocks the cyclist for the hell of it.

              If only the UK roads were more like the Dutch roads where there cars have to give way to cyclists. Cars would have to slow down and consider other people for a change.

              UK cycling does seem like a civil war at times where some ignorant car drivers have no appreciation for cyclists and vice versa.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: While were at it....

                "Yet there's space for the cyclist to pull out and cycle around the car or queue on the outside; i.e. the car driver just blocks the cyclist for the hell of it."

                And then you'll pull out and be in their way again. Why exactly do you feel that you are entitled to get in the way of a faster vehicle and make a nuisance of yourself? At the same time, you get so uppity that somebody is in your way when it's a faster vehicle that will be gone and out of your way and waste far less of your time than you would of theirs?

                You are not special for wearing lycra.

                Your time is not more important than the time of somebody not on a bicycle.

                Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.

                "If only the UK roads were more like the Dutch roads where there cars have to give way to cyclists. Cars would have to slow down and consider other people for a change."

                Yet you clearly don't consider other people. Do us all a favour - emigrate.

                1. ibmalone Silver badge

                  Re: While were at it....

                  And then you'll pull out and be in their way again. Why exactly do you feel that you are entitled to get in the way of a faster vehicle and make a nuisance of yourself? At the same time, you get so uppity that somebody is in your way when it's a faster vehicle that will be gone and out of your way and waste far less of your time than you would of theirs?

                  As a non-lycra wearing cyclist, I'd ask you to read the background and reasoning for advanced stop lines. It also makes sense when they're not in place:

                  http://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/design_portfolio_advanced_stop_linesa09.pdf

                  In addition, a cyclist will travel slower, but usually are able to move off faster, but it is also harder to control direction when moving off than when travelling at steady speed. This means that it's safer to have the cyclists at the front, where they can move off and thin out, than trying to start off alongside cars. As to who's time is being 'wasted', cyclists travel slower than cars, so the extra time a cyclist will spend travelling if they have to wait at the back of a long line of stationary cars is going to be longer than the time a car needs to get up to speed and find room to pass. One of the advantages of cycling as a mode of transport is it takes up much less road room, cyclists can use space motorists can't. A person on a bike is a person who is not making the queue in front of you one car longer or taking up parking spaces.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: While were at it....

                    "A person on a bike is a person who is not making the queue in front of you one car longer or taking up parking spaces."

                    No, he is making the queue 10 cars longer because he is then difficult to overtake safely and is holding up every car behind him on that road, especially if he is one of most who do not stick to the prescribed 1m from the curb and then get all self righteous when somebody only leaves them a "door's width" (i.e. as much as you would leave if overtaking a car) of space when overtaking them.

                    Number plates, MoT and insurance should be made mandatory for cyclists, with laws and penalties harmonized with those for those driving motorbikes. Accountability must work both ways. Cyclists, especially in densely populated areas like London are far more dangerous than motorbikers because they are not accountable and the majority of them (yes, demonstrably a majority *1) get up to the sort of reckless endangerment stupidity that nearly no motorist would dream of.

                    I'm sure many will say "Not all cyclists...", and that may be the case; but a majority - certainly.

                    *1 https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/cyclists-filmed-jumping-red-lights-in-london-taxi-drivers-hidden-camera-footage-8969043.html

                    1. ibmalone Silver badge

                      Re: While were at it....

                      Except of course many of them are also motorists.

                      As for your evening standard link, this competely unbiased press stunt by the London Taxi Drivers Association doesn't support your point. You're attempting to equate the majority of rush hour cyclists in a particular location going through red lights with reckless endangerment: it's also common knowledge that the majority of drivers on English motorways are breaking the speed limit. Are they all guilty of reckless endangerment?

                      Please go and so some reading on primary position and perhaps take a cycling proficiency course. You are coming across as very angry at cyclists and very concerned about getting to your destination as fast as possible. Driving with that kind of aggression is dangerous and you need to understand other road users better.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: While were at it....

                        "As for your evening standard link, this competely unbiased press stunt by the London Taxi Drivers Association doesn't support your point. You're attempting to equate the majority of rush hour cyclists in a particular location going through red lights with reckless endangerment:"

                        Except this is a particularly dangerous set of lights where any sane and reasonable person would be more careful. If 53% of cyclists are happily charging through red lights on a particularly dangerous junction, how many are doing so at junctions where it is less dangerous? And rush hour means heavy traffic which means it is even more dangerous. Are you suggesting that in rush hour it is somehow more acceptable to be going through red lights?

                        There is an unedited 2 hour video to go with the article, so explain to me on what basis is the evidence biased and non-representative?

                        Just because you don't like what the evidence is showing doesn't make it erroneous.

                        Equal accountability for all road users is the only way to solve the problem, and currently we do not have that.

                    2. paulc

                      Re: While were at it....

                      "especially if he is one of most who do not stick to the prescribed 1m from the curb and then get all self righteous when somebody only leaves them a "door's width" (i.e. as much as you would leave if overtaking a car) of space when overtaking them."

                      prescribed distance of 1m? Nope, no prescribed distance... two positions, Secondary and Primary.

                      I take the Primary position when it is not safe for your to even attempt to overtake me and relax back to Secondary when I DEEM it to be safe enough for you to overtake me.

                      Why do cyclists ride in the middle of the road?

                      Watch this video which explains it:

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htZMbiCRNT0

                      also this web article:

                      https://www.regit.cars/car-news/cyclists-why-do-they-ride-in-the-middle-of-the-road_62617

                      I would suggest to you that you go and download a copy of the current Highway Code and re-familiarise yourself with the contents and not with the muddled made-up rules in your head.

                      There have been a lot of changes since you probably threw it away after 'passing' your test...

                  2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: While were at it....

                    "As a non-lycra wearing cyclist, I'd ask you to read the background and reasoning for advanced stop lines. It also makes sense when they're not in place:"

                    I suspect a lot of the comments here are based peoples direct experiences of city centre, rush hour driving and cycling, especially what seem to be London-centric comments, which for a lot of people, is about the only time they are on the roads. Because of the distances I drive, I usually arrive at my destination well outside of rush hour and try to be gone and back on the motorway before school run starts and so see far less of the issues most people are reporting. Rush hour cyclists are usually in a hurry to get to work so there's probably a great number of careless cyclists in that group than at other times of the day.

                    For balance, I do get to drive in rush hour too, often in a strange town or city I'm unfamiliar with so do get to see the self important idiots as well. I'd guess there's probably a similar percentage of idiot cyclists as there are other vehicle users.

                2. paulc

                  Re: While were at it....

                  "At the same time, you get so uppity that somebody is in your way when it's a faster vehicle that will be gone and out of your way and waste far less of your time than you would of theirs?"

                  faster only over the short distance between the back of each queue....

                  average speed of motor traffic is now slower than horse and cart days...

                  meanwhile, people on bicycles can maintain a much higher average speed by means of filtering...

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: While were at it....

                "UK cycling does seem like a civil war at times where some ignorant car drivers have no appreciation for cyclists and vice versa."

                Yep, and these threads bring it all out. I've been driving for 40 years, 60,000+ per year for the last 23 years and never had or caused an accident. If you believe in luck, then I'm very lucky. If you believe in statistics, then I'm almost certainly a better than average driver. Either way, I learned very early on that nothing is worth hurrying for and getting annoyed over. That queue you're stuck getting you more and more irate? It might be caused by someone up ahead having the temerity to die in an accident. You don't know that until you get there. I've seen a few over the years. It's very sobering to see the mangled wreckage and all the blue flashing lights as you crawl past in the queue.

          2. Mark 110

            Re: While were at it....

            "The biggest nause when riding a cycle in a town is the ignorant drivers that don't leave enough space for a cycle to pass on the inside when they're stationary and puking out fumes. So the cyclist has to cut outside of that car in the centre of the road, then cut back in front to get to the inside lane if the next car hasn't blocked it."

            Sorry - had to downvote you there. Undertaking is bad. Its not your space. You want to overtakie you go around. Thats why, as I said in an earlier post, cyclists need better training. You either go around or you wait. Otherwise you are in danger of hurting yourself.

            1. ibmalone Silver badge

              Re: While were at it....

              Sorry - had to downvote you there. Undertaking is bad. Its not your space. You want to overtakie you go around. Thats why, as I said in an earlier post, cyclists need better training. You either go around or you wait. Otherwise you are in danger of hurting yourself.

              Filtering is allowed, but not well defined, in the highway code. You'll notice cycle boxes and advance stop lines on roads without a marked cycle lane or only a short cycle lane lead up. Passing a stationary vehicle is not undertaking, otherwise you'd be obliged when going straight to stop and wait for someone in a right turn lane.

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: While were at it....

            "The biggest nause when riding a cycle in a town is the ignorant drivers that don't leave enough space for a cycle to pass on the inside"

            Is there a requirement for that? I must say that I do leave room for cyclists to pass if at all possible EXCEPT when I'm stopped at a junction waiting to turn left, with indicators flashing, to try and discourage certain invincible cyclists to then park up beside me on my left, with the intention of going straight on (assuming they bothered to stop at the red light in the first place)

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: While were at it....

        you can be damn sure that I would claim on the insurance for the damage

        Sure you will not. The cost of the damage to a bicycle in an average scrape with a car is significantly LESS than the excess on any insurance policy I know. I have been literally run over by a classic case of "woman driving off in cold weather" and the only damage to the bicycle was a write-off wheel worth 30 quid (*). That is less than the excess on my credit card insurance for crying out loud.

        If you have more damage to the bicycle, you are probably in hospital as well and we are looking at an "insurance situation as we know it".

        That is different from the cost to the car where a single item of bodyshop work is PAST the excess level. So frankly, if the cyclists are insured, the only people to benefit will be the drivers.

        That may not be such a bad thing after all. Will make some people cycle more sanely.

        Her husband actually showed up with a new wheel at my house the next day and tried to explain me that I am full of it and he cleaned the ice off her car. It took 30 seconds to show him that this does not help with the demisting and his wife was driving with a 30cm by 30cm visibility cleared of fog on the inside off the windshield. At which point he realized that they are lucky I did not press on the case and left.

        1. blcollier

          Re: While were at it....

          Late to this party, but whatever...

          >"Sure you will not. The cost of the damage to a bicycle in an average scrape with a car is significantly LESS than the excess on any insurance policy I know."

          Know that for a fact, do you? I ride a frame worth £1000 (devaluation notwithstanding) and my insurance excess - yes, I am insured, my home insurance covers my bike in accidents - is £100. Damaging a carbon fibre frame will very easily make it unfit/unsafe to ride and will cost a lot more than £100 to fix. Even damaging just 1 wheel and the handlebars would cost more than £100 in parts, without even accounting for labour costs. So, yes, I would claim on my insurance, and if a third party was responsible for that accident then the insurance company would pursue that party. That latter point, as it happens, *is* a fact because in the past I have been the person at the insurance company that deals with cases where third-parties are liable for damages paid out on claims. That *includes* cases where motor insurance has had to reimburse costs paid out on a pedal cycle claim.

          If you were involved in an accident with a cyclist and found to be at fault then you and your car insurance would pay the price for your negligence in exactly the same way as you would if you were responsible for an accident with a motor vehicle. Sure the costs are going to be lower but in pricing terms, a lower payout doesn't always mean lower risk.

          You can't have it both ways. You can't require cyclists to have mandatory insurance in the same way that motor vehicles do and then *not* expect equal treatment when it comes to claims.

    3. Smooth Newt
      Meh

      Re: While were at it....

      ..all cyclists over 18 to be insured.

      Why not just all cyclists - if you cycle on the road then you should be insured. Children can injure people and damage cars just like anyone else.

      Enforcement would be the problem, given that the Police don't even enforce riding without lights on the roads and that is both life-threateningly dangerous and trivial for them to spot.

      1. EH

        Re: While were at it....

        and why not the pedestrians then, while you're at it? They use the road when they cross it. What if they cross in front of your car and cause damage to it as you hit them?

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: While were at it....

      "all cyclists over 18 to be insured."

      Why over 18? We're told that the younger and less experienced a driver is the more they're likely to have accidents. Surely the same applies to cyclists.

  5. Peter2 Silver badge

    I think i'm actually with Cycling UK on this. Sort out the legislation so that the "driver" of an autonomous vehicle is the entity that programmed it, and ban changes to the software.

    Locking them to motorways actually seems pretty proportionate for a first step, as they ought to be able to operate there safely enough, and if they can't then they have no business trying to do anything more complicated.

  6. SuccessCase

    I'm a cyclist and Cycling UK aren't speaking for me. I disagree. There is no reason driverless cars should be less safe for cyclists than cars controlled by a brain. Brains are often mean, don't respect the space cyclists need and make inconsistent judgements, or even, as I have witnessed on all too many occasions deliberately drive dangerously close, presumably with the intent of "shitting the cyclist up." Driverless cars, provided they have a suitable array of sensors, should detect cyclists and respect a cyclist's needs far more consistently than a human driver. I was knocked off about two years ago under all too common circumstances when a car simply pulled out in front of me from a side road. A driverless vehicle would be ever vigilant and such a simple, but potentially deadly, error should almost never be made.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Absolutely - as a cyclist I'd far rather have self driving cars around. It's well known that the most dangerous bit a car is the nut behind the wheel.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      There is no reason driverless cars should be less safe for cyclists than cars controlled by a brain.

      I think we all know what the reality will be; brains fuck-up and so will software.

      1. Mark 110

        Software can be fixed.

        Apparently brains can't be.

    3. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      I could understand that some driverless cars radar might fail on certain bikes? Not the fault of the roder and very much the fault of the car manufacturers if they don't make it 100% failproof.

  7. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Well...

    Sounds like they're being deliberately daring to get this bill fleshed out properly and as many potential issues as possible discussed.

    A cyclist

    1. nijam
      Mushroom

      Re: Well...

      > Sounds like they're being deliberately daring to get this bill fleshed out properly and as many potential issues as possible discussed.

      Or... Sounds like they're the same organisation that tried to get the law changed so that cyclists can never be held responsible for collisions they're involved in.

      1. Wibble

        Re: Well...

        Or... Sounds like they're the same organisation that tried to get the law changed so that cyclists can never be held responsible for collisions they're involved in.

        Reference please.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I once was going to charge my Volt at a hotel in Vermont. Given the weather, would have been expensive (3.3kW charger + pay per hour = bad) but not terrible. Since I don't usually have need or opportunity to use public chargers I would have paid by credit card. To do that I needed to call a telephone number and then give them charger information.

    The information I needed was on the charger. However, it was on a small electronic display, which cycled through different pieces of information, and scrolled text at each step in the cycle, making it difficult to get all the needed information dialed.

    After several minutes I managed to get all the information I needed. A message then told me that because I was paying by credit card I'd have to pay an additional fee. I was really expecting that, given transaction fees, and I'd have been prepared to pay, but they called it a convenience fee. I hung up.

    I have to wonder whether SEMAConnect even bothered to do a system test with that charger design.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I have to wonder whether SEMAConnect even bothered to do a system test with that charger design."

      I don't drive an electric car, but your comment, the comment in the article and the one public charger I've looked at, all seem to be re-inventing the wheel vis a vis payment methods. It seems they are trying to go all walled garden by having special membership clubs. Why not just have a simple credit card reader like pay at the pump fuel pumps? Simples!

  9. Malcolm 1

    Hmm

    My experience as a cyclist/driver/pedestrian would suggest that an AV is more likely to safer in an urban environment than the average driver.

    I'm quite interested to see how behaviour will evolve around automated vehicles - if you know that an AV will emergency stop if you step out in front of it will everyone just wander into the road whenever they feel like it?

    1. Killfalcon Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      I don't think it's an unreasonable fear that

      a) someone will build a "cheap" AV that "is only for motorway use" (you know, where there are usually miles between junctions, traffic flow is effectively one-way, most potential distractions like pedestrians are isolated away)

      then

      b) some dipshit will turn it on in the city centre, where it's various sensors can get saturated with far more pedestrians, guard rails, cyclists, (etc) than it's designed to handle.

      I mean, corporations tend to do the legal minimum, especially if they want to sell to the bottom end of the market. And then all it takes is a few idiots to try it, find it works "pretty well" and you're in trouble.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      "My experience as a cyclist/driver/pedestrian would suggest that an AV is more likely to safer in an urban environment than the average driver."

      I don't doubt your experience as any of the above, but as you have no experience of automated vehicles in that environment you're really just making assumptions that they will cope with everything that an urban enviroment might throw their way. That sounds a little optimistic to me.

      "I'm quite interested to see how behaviour will evolve around automated vehicles - if you know that an AV will emergency stop if you step out in front of it will everyone just wander into the road whenever they feel like it?"

      Yes, of course they will. Either because they don't want to wait to cross the road, or just because they want to annoy the people in the cars. Expect to see lots of rear end collisions where AVs emergency stop too quickly for the driver behind to avoid them. Depending on the political agenda, this will either be used to push up insurance premiums for human drivers to the point where only AVs can be used, used to push up the cost of AV *and* human drivers to the point where only the rich can afford personal transport, or drive the introduction of strict jaywalking laws which punish inattentive or malicious pedestrians (if they can be caught afterwards).

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        If they have radar they might have a safety edge in some cases.

        Would possibly have been aware, before I was yesterday, of cyclist on a country lane with no street lighting, in the dark .. cyclist had no lights and dark clothes, only plus point was the cycle has a rear reflector to give me a bit of advance warning

        Disclosure: I drive/cycle/walk/use public transport - there is bad road use by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. As a human I know there are times when my attention can waver (e.g. when passengers in car cause distraction), AV would not have that drawback.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          f cyclist on a country lane with no street lighting, in the dark .

          Could be worse. Could have no lights, dark clothing and drunk and zig-zagging across the whole road. I was unfortunate to have to try avoiding those twice in the last year. The second was so shitfaced that he fell of the bike in front of me.

          1. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            I had some do this to me but they were pedestrains on a dark country road were the speed limit was 50 and they were walking along the side of the road. no side walks. They threw thier drink at me.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hmm

              It was a dark road with no sidewalks? If there’s no sidewalk, and it’s dark then you need to drive accordingly and be aware of the potential for pedestrians?

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              "I had some do this to me but they were pedestrains on a dark country road were the speed limit was 50 and they were walking along the side of the road. no side walks. They threw thier drink at me."

              The mention "side walks" indicates you may be on the USA side of the Atlantic. Here in the UK, under the conditions you describe, the pedestrians have at least equal right of way. We don't really have a concept of "jay walking". Under extreme circumstances, there may be a case of obstruction if it can be shown to be unreasonable, eg just standing in the road blocking traffic for "fun".

    3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Only when I want to see the AV car rear-ended by the non-AV car.

      But after years of trying to get motorists to check their blind spots, many still don't. And bicycles & bikers tend to suffer for that. Current AV's don't seem to offer much in the way of improvement as they have hard configured blind spots with their sensing. Legal & political wrangling over liability between owner/driver/AV designer needs to happen before too many AV's hit the roads. We're IT types, we know that to err is human and to really FUBAR, we need a safe/secure system.

    4. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Hmm

      " if you know that an AV will emergency stop if you step out in front of it will everyone just wander into the road whenever they feel like it?"

      I wouldn't, and I doubt most people would want to take that much risk, but I can certainly see kids pranking the safety systems of cars by hopping in and out of the road.

    5. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      ...if you know that an AV will emergency stop if you step out in front of it will everyone just wander into the road whenever they feel like it?

      I see a good few Darwin Awards ahead. How many will step out in front of a vehicle expecting it to stop only to find that it isn't actually an autonomous vehicle? The (very) hard way.

      1. nijam

        Re: Hmm

        > I can certainly see kids pranking the safety systems of cars by hopping in and out of the road.

        There's a dual-carriageway near here with a very low speed limit, introduced after local kids played chicken there once too often.

        1. Stripes the Dalmatian

          Re: Hmm

          "played chicken there once too often"

          I think that's called 'playing hedgehog'.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        "I can certainly see kids pranking the safety systems of cars by hopping in and out of the road."

        They certainly will. Some kids, thankfully a very, very small number, think it's funny to drop rocks from bridges onto cars on the motorway. Stopping a relatively slow moving AV car in town, once seen as relatively safe, will attract a much larger group of a certain type of kid.

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    ICE's blocking EV Charging points

    There is one rapid charger near me that has one parking space. The forecourt attendant parks his Diesel mobile in the bay meaning that no one can charge their car.

    When asked to move it, he says that he can't leave the till area.

    The garage operator does not care. They get a space rental from the charger company so he's quids in.

    The charger company knows about this but they can't find anywhere local to move the charger to.

    The next door local council wants to put CP's into their car parks but the district council won't let them.

    doh!

    I'm sure that come the next council tax band re-evaluation those of us who care for the environment by having Solar Panels and our own CP will get hit by a rise in Council Tax.

    The Chief Exec of the council will no doubt get a double digit percentage pay rise for thinking up such a wheeze.

    Jobsworths the lot of them. Eat this

    1. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: ICE's blocking EV Charging points

      How do you know someone is driving an electric car ? He will tell you.

      Seriously, it's no one's concern that you can't charge your car at the place convenient for you, you should have thought about it before making decision to buy it.

      Downvote is on the right, knock yourself over.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: ICE's blocking EV Charging points

        "Seriously, it's no one's concern..."

        Nice attitude, I suppose you park in the family and disabled spaces in the supermarket too, do you?

        It's common courtesy to leave such spaces for those for whom they are intended. Including charge points, especially since there are so few of them.

        1. nijam

          Re: ICE's blocking EV Charging points

          > It's common courtesy to leave such spaces for those for whom they are intended

          I would bet that the space was *intended* for conventional vehicles, then subsequently appropriated by the charger installers. Is that what you meant?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ICE's blocking EV Charging points

            Sounds like the company operating the charge point didn't bother to put any disincentive in for other cars parking in that area. Like £x per hour parking charges, which are included in the recharging costs. Diesel car parks in the space and pays the charge? EV driver needs to find somewhere else - too bad. Diesel car parks in the spot and doesn't pay? Issue a PCN like any other commercial car park.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: ICE's blocking EV Charging points

      > ICEd charge points

      This is why I have a tankbag full of roofing nails on my electric bike. Same for the people that park across 2 or 3 spaces.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: ICE's blocking EV Charging points

        This is why I have a tankbag full of roofing nails on my electric bike. Same for the people that park across 2 or 3 spaces.

        Seriously? You admit that? I would suggest that being a twat is not the best way to deal with other twats.

        If I see a sharp object that could puncture a tyre I put it in a bin.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: ICE's blocking EV Charging points

      "The garage operator does not care. They get a space rental from the charger company so he's quids in.

      The charger company knows about this but they can't find anywhere local to move the charger to."

      And the charging company are happy to keep paying the space rental for a charger that can never generate any revenue? I can't see them staying in business for very long.

  11. Pete 2

    First, find the problem

    I can see three separate types of failure that could lead to an event requiring liability to be identified

    1.) An operational failure (including a mechanical problem)

    2.) An implementation failure

    3.) A failure to define a suitable standard of operation

    Operational failures, such as a blow-out, computer failure, faulty battery have a lot of case history to determine where blame lies. There would obviously be some extensions to this as new technology becomes included, but that is always the case.

    An implementation failure is an entirely new concept. Since having a software driven vehicle (i.e. fully autonomous - no human input at all) is something that has never been considered. This is what the new laws are all about. Every level of "autonomy" lower than this - the ones that require a qualified driver to be able to take control - is already covered.

    But a failure of the vehicle's (and we are talking lorries, buses as well as cars) systems does need to be defined. And the liability has to be determined.

    From the point of view of either someone inside the vehicle (aka a passenger) there can clearly be no blame. Thus everything else comes down to "equipment failure" - just who's equipment would merely be a matter for the various suppliers to sort out in civil proceedings. But that is no different from what we have today. I reckon the major legal cases would be between the (vehicle's) insurance company and the producer of the vehicle - and after that between the maker and their subcontractors.

    The third point, about situations that aren't covered by the safety standards imposed by governments is again, something we already have to deal with. Those will get closed as a matter of course, though probably only after the fact, as accidents happen and regulations get tightened.

    From the cyclists' point of view, I would get worried. All these (truly) autonomous vehicles will have such a vast array of sensors that they will record every facet of an accident. Video from every direction, audio, weather conditions, positions of every object in the vicinity. All of that will be of "forensic" quality, It wold be very difficult for a cyclist, or pedestrian, who was faced with a weight of evidence that they were in the wrong, to defend against. No longer would there be an automatic presumption that every collision was always the car's fault.

    1. ukaudiophile

      Re: First, find the problem

      "From the cyclists' point of view, I would get worried. All these (truly) autonomous vehicles will have such a vast array of sensors that they will record every facet of an accident. Video from every direction, audio, weather conditions, positions of every object in the vicinity. All of that will be of "forensic" quality, It wold be very difficult for a cyclist, or pedestrian, who was faced with a weight of evidence that they were in the wrong, to defend against. No longer would there be an automatic presumption that every collision was always the car's fault."

      I would have to ask why you would be worried from the cyclists point of view? Surely the fairer position is that you should be worried about the drivers who have been wrongly accused and probably wrongly convicted of being to blame for incident between cyclists and drivers where the driver has been taken as being at fault as a matter of course? Surely if their was any hint of sincerity and honesty in any investigation between a car and another mode of transport, then the liability and failures of both parties must be weighed. The cycling lobby, of course, loathe and hate this suggestion that they can do anything wrong and should have any liability for doing anything wrong under any circumstances, and quickly race to their statistics to show the number of drivers convicted of injuring cyclists and how few cyclists have been convicted to prove their case. The issue is how convincing are those numbers if the liability of the party other than the motorist was rigorously investigated in the same way the actions of the motorist are. It's easy to say the motorist is always wrong is the actions of the other party are not fully investigated.

      As it stands, I sincerely hope that the forensic evidence available from these systems is accessible to the driver so to make it easy to prove his actions, but should we not really be asking ourselves why 'innocent until PROVEN guilty' and 'He who asserts must PROVE' seem increasingly alien when an accident occurs on the road, instead the focus being to find some tenuous way of placing blame solely on the motorist?

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: First, find the problem

        From the cyclists point of view...I would be worried only if I did something wrong.

        And I am a cyclist, and I try not to do anything wrong, as I do when I drive my car.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: First, find the problem

          "And I am a cyclist, and I try not to do anything wrong, as I do when I drive my car."

          But these days, it seems that few people ever accept blame, even when presented with incontrovertible evidence. Not just in the case of accidents, but in all walks of life. How many times have we ridiculed business statements such as "we apologise if anyone was affected/upset/offended" or "security is our number one priority" on these very forums?

          Maybe you are one of the few. I'd like to think I am too. But in the case of a road traffic accident, your insurance company specifically tell you to not to admit to blame, preferably say nothing at all other than as legally required.

    2. Palpy

      Re: "...situations that aren't covered..."

      (I am a car driver but don't cycle nearly as much as I used to.)

      Personally, I think people underestimate the flexibility of behavior shown by both motorists and cyclists. For instance, when overtaking a cyclist I notice things like leaves in his lane, and become alert for a swerve or slip of his wheels. I see human drivers creating their own rules in crowded merge lanes -- creating rules in a good way, as in "you take a turn and then it's my turn", with both parties doing what is expected.

      Yes, I see violations of common sense, but I tend to think these stick in my memory precisely because the majority of drivers and cyclists do behave with common sense, especially when presented with a novel situation.

      The law recognizes a "last clear chance" doctrine: even if a driver has the right of way, and is obeying the law and the rules of the road, he has an obligation to avoid accident if he can. I'm not sure how one writes an algorithm to mimic the unexpected and creative maneuvers a human driver might use at the last second to avoid accident. I'm not sure how existing case law around the "last clear chance" doctrine will be applied if, at that last clear chance before a fatal accident, a machine is controlling the vehicle.

      OTOH, I am kind of sure that these things should be worked out, as much as possible, before very many autonomous driving vehicles are on the city streets.

  12. John Robson Silver badge

    Which document did you read?

    "The underlying thrust of Cycling UK's comments (PDF, 5 pages) appeared to suggest that driverless vehicle technology in the UK should be banned in all circumstances except for operation on motorways. Their concerns stem from unspecified concerns over "immature, under-regulated technologies"."

    No - the thrust is that you can't just ignore the criminal responsibility when you push insurance liability around.

    If a person is unlawfully killed then there shouldn't be a way to just ignore the criminal responsibility - which current legislation doesn't transfer to the (corporate) authors of the software, but also cannot leave with a driver who isn't taking any action.

  13. a pressbutton

    Humans are responsible - not the software

    If the autopilot on an airplane goes wrong, it is up to the human to get out of trouble, not the autopilot.

    Similarly, the human in the car is in control if something goes wrong.

    The responsible human in the car is the person behind the wheel.

    My question would be how does the software know that person behind the wheel has a licence and is insured and is in a fit state to be in control?

    They have not covered off how the s/w knows it is ok to switch on, never mind where / when.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still don't grok why noone is trying to find ways to make it easier for driverless cars to make good decisions. Cycling UK should be lobbying for drivers to pay for safety devices on bikes or helmets that driverless vehicles can easily detect. Driverless cars are such a win for cyclists, myself included. Sensible drivers who are always looking in all directions are an obvious win for vehicles that necessarily travel at a different speed on a different part of the road to the rest of the traffic.

  15. Roland6 Silver badge

    Software developers being legally resonsible for software snafu's

    In principle don't see a problem with this, the effect of this will be to make such jobs only really available to the professionally qualified (ie. C.Eng/CITP) and thus increase wages...

    The only problem, as we saw with the VW incident, is ensuring the right people get put before the court.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why stop at prosecuting Dev's? andy why just the car manufacturer?

    If every software error was a criminal offence then lawyers would be very happy indeed, and probably nobody else...

    May as well prosecute Amazon every time the cloud goes down.

    It is also likely that incidents, as posted above, will include an environmental, human (or animal) factor that software is unlikely to be able to include rules for. Is lack of design for predicting a situation the same as an error?

    This seems extreme, although there probably should be some option for this, accidents probably should be investigated to confirm why, but not pre-allocate blame. Surely the answer is to enable and encourage manufacturers to revise their software rather than hide issues in order to dodge sueballs.

    If ALL cars were automated road capacity would increase, and road rage would be removed too. Cars would drive in more predictable ways benefitting cyclists (and making us the hazard not the cars) although don't expect the mad max brigade of automate cars to stop and let you pull out either..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why stop at prosecuting Dev's? andy why just the car manufacturer?

      Erm, did you actually read enough of the article to see how it diverges from the clickbait headline?

      (A fat, unfit, low-mileage cyclist; in my youth a high-mileage cyclist; also a past CTC member).

    2. ukaudiophile

      "Cycling UK should be lobbying for drivers to pay for safety devices on bikes or helmets that driverless vehicles can easily detect."

      Maybe Cycling UK should have the wit to put together a group buy of such devices after their design and structure have been defined by the car companies, and offer these to their members at a discount? Why should the motorist pay for these, such devices are for the cyclists benefit, so they should pay for them. Maybe if Cycling UK spent less time trying to blame everyone else for incidents involving cyclists and instead promoted responsible cycle ownership and use then maybe they would actually achieve results to benefit cyclists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Quote: "Cycling UK should be lobbying for drivers to pay for safety devices on bikes or helmets that driverless vehicles can easily detect"

        Cyclists should already be easy to detect, simply in order for regular humans to see them. They are already required to have functional lights, reflectors etc. They shouldn't need more than that for AVs.

        If a cyclist chooses to wear black at night, not have lights on, and has no reflectors, then the cyclist should be being prosecuted, banned from cycling, and their bike given to charity or crushed if it's unsafe. As they would not only be being a danger to themselves, but other road users and pedestrians.

    3. Pete 2

      Re: Why stop at prosecuting Dev's? andy why just the car manufacturer?

      > Is lack of design for predicting a situation the same as an error?

      In many cases, yes it is. There is a huge class of foreseeable events. Not just in autonomous vehicle design but in every aspect of software. No programmer only writes error handlers for situations that have already shown up in testing. (Actually, looking at the state of a lot of software, many programmers don't handle any errors at all - but let's limit the discussion to responsible individuals and professionally run organisations).

      it would be the responsibility of governments to define the standards to be applied. It is then incumbent on the manufacturers to adhere to those and to pass certification. Just as it is with car design and manufacture today. There is no need for laws to define the "how" a safety feature is produced, just the "what" it should do or prevent.

      One side-effect of stringent safety certification will be (hopefully) a small number of software updates - assuming the whole system would need to be re-certified in the event of any software change.

      Another would be the absolute prohibition of AI in a vehicle's safety-critical systems, All software would have to be standard, unchanging (apart from legitimate updates) and adherent. Self-altering systems could not possibly meet that criterion.

    4. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Why stop at prosecuting Dev's? andy why just the car manufacturer?

      " don't expect the mad max brigade of automate cars to stop and let you pull out either.."

      This is a good point and not just relating to cyclists.

      There are often times when it's right to slow or stop so that someone can cross or pull into your lane. eg. I have to cross the A1 from a side road when going to work in the morning, and if there is congestion people will just stop short and let me through, otherwise I would be there for hours.

      Will AVs have the programming for this? Or for similar cases (merging in turn when a lane ends, letting people pull out, moving to another lane to let people join the motorway etc.)?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why stop at prosecuting Dev's? andy why just the car manufacturer?

        > Will AVs have the programming for this? Or for similar cases (merging in turn when a lane ends, letting people pull out, moving to another lane to let people join the motorway etc.)?

        A few days ago I would have gone "aaargggh" and sarcastically retorted with a "why on earth do you think that such common driving scenarios wouldn't be considered in the design?"

        But then we heard about the self-driving shuttle bus crash in the US where the developers seem to have forgotten about that common driving scenario: sound the bloody horn when a truck starts reversing into you!!

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Which document did you read?

      "No - the thrust is that you can't just ignore the criminal responsibility when you push insurance liability around."

      Just this.

      The cyclists have a good point here. This seems to have been dealt with purely as a civil matter which can be dealt with by compensation via insurance (and surely no insurance company would ever try to weasel out of their responsibilities). But where a human driver is involved there is also a criminal aspect and if there has been criminal negligence then there should be scope for prosecution.

      However I think they're wrong in not putting the blame on the vehicle manufacturer alone. It's up to the vehicle manufacturer to ensure that the overall package is correct.

      Consider, for example, that the vehicle manufacturer picks up some image processing library. It was actually written for an image classification system where a few false positives or negatives were acceptable and for this the library was good enough. Or it was written for a medical application where it was to be used for cytology images. Would it be right to prosecute the author of a library that has been used out of its intended context?

      Consider the possibility that the S/W itself is fine but the manufacturer has seen fit to run it on H/W with less resources than the S/W was specified for, or shared the H/W with another package when that wasn't intended. Why should the author be responsible for that?

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Humans are responsible - not the software

      "The responsible human in the car is the person behind the wheel."

      And what if the AV doesn't have a wheel? What if it's one of these driverless vomit conveyors taxis that are supposed to be the future?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but "geo-fencing could be 'circumvented'".

    ... at which point, presumably, you could ascribe blame to whatever or whoever circumvented it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They also want to geofence motorways

    ah, us and them!

    btw, "they" also don't pay "road tax", lol...

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: They also want to geofence motorways

      btw, "they" also don't pay "road tax", lol...

      Assuming you are aware (from your scare quotes) that there is actually no such thing as "road tax" in the UK, I will also mention that "they" do pay it if they own a car, which many (most?) cyclists on the road do.

  19. FlossyThePig

    Cycle lanes/paths

    I'd be happy if all cyclists use designated cycle lanes/paths when they are available.

    Some do and some don't (that reminds me of a Max Miller joke).

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Cycle lanes/paths

      "I'd be happy if all cyclists use designated cycle lanes/paths when they are available."

      I'd be happy if cycle lanes were of a consistent, and high, standard that *allowed* cyclists to use them.

      Generally they are dangerously narrow, stop at any time they might be useful, and expect you to cede priority to vehicles coming from behind you who want to access a parking space.

      I'll stick to the excellent national cycle network which cyclists campaigned to have built.. it's called the roads.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Cycle lanes/paths

        I really enjoy cycling down the cycle path in my jeans and coat and overtaking the lycra twats on the main road.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cycle lanes/paths

          In the town where I live the road planning is clearly done by fat bastards in council planning departments who have never cycled anywhere, and are too much of a fat bastard to walk further than from their front door to their car. Until these fat bastards actually have to use the facilities that they are responsible for the situation won’t improve.

          Until that happens I’ll ignore the dangerous cycle paths, which are mostly shared cycle and pedestrian paths, frequently blocked by parked cars, and continue to walk in the road because the dedicated pavements are also frequently blocked by parked cars.

          Until we get rid of the fat bastards in charge the situation for everyone will not improve.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Cycle lanes/paths

      I'd be happy if all cyclists use designated cycle lanes/paths when they are available.

      Can I just clarify your use of the term 'all': Does it include cyclists who happen to be driving a car with a bike on the roof?

      1. HKmk23

        Re: Cycle lanes/paths

        The comment regarding cycles on the roof of a car simply typifies the mentality of push bike riders!

    3. Haku

      Re: Cycle lanes/paths

      Designated cycle lanes on roads that weren't originally built to accomodate another lane - as in they simply painted a white line for the 'path' on the existing road - can actually be more dangerous to cyclists, because vehicle drivers will drive right up to the painted line which will put them closer to the cyclists, whereas without such painted pathways the road lanes are wider and the drivers are more likely to give more space when passing.

      http://road.cc/content/news/7921-cycle-lanes-make-roads-more-dangerous-says-study

  20. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Accidents are not the norm. They are exceptions. Where is the evidence that an AV will be able to handle exceptions better than humans?

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      My two moving vehicle "accidents" were down to my failure as an inexperienced young driver to tell the difference between a speeding car and one travelling at normal speed at night and an inability to look forward, backwards and sideways at the same time. An autonomous car would hopefully suffer neither of those problems.

      I've had three other incidents that damaged a car; the first two the car was parked and I was in bed asleep and the third involved a shotgun owner not paying attention to where he was shooting. Universal AI would fix the first two, the last one is probably beyond current technology.

  21. sjsmoto

    Driverless car liability and responsibility are too vague to me. If it's driving in a taxi-like mode where I don't have to pay attention, why should I be liable? Or if it's driving in some kind of enhanced cruise control, am I liable if I have my hands on the steering wheel and I expected it to slow down because the manual said it's smart enough to do so, but it didn't?

  22. Downside

    Go Dutch

    The Netherlands have a simple rule - any RTA involving a cyclist, it's the non-cyclists fault.

    Simple.

    Effective.

    Sure, I've got skin in the game as a cyclist and driver, but I'd be happy with that law here. Cyclists everywhere are up against it., It normally being bumpers, wing mirrors and lorries. For all your whining about Lycra and berserk cyclists - it's the motorist who's the carefree killer here.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Go Dutch

      For all your whining about Lycra and berserk cyclists - it's the motorist who's the carefree killer here.

      Tosh. As a driver I am not "carefree" in the sense that you seem to mean. I have no desire whatsoever to harm any other road user or pedestrian; if I did I would care about it very much indeed.

      I am of the view that as a sentient being I have a responsibility to keep myself out of danger and avoid putting anyone else in danger. As a pedestrian I have been endangered by cyclists, albeit not very often, but it has happened. A local canal towpath is clearly marked as "no cycling" but does that keep cyclists away? Does it hell; there have been accidents but nothing is done.

      Although slightly OT I would cite a common local occurence; we live close to a primary school and as start time approaches the pavements (narrowed by cars parking with 2 wheels on them) fill up with pedestrians and schoolchildren on scooters, flying along with no regard for the safety of other pavement users, including pedestrians with dogs. It is for others to avoid them, not the other way round. They are already learning that they can disregard the safety of others in pursuit of their own selfish desires, and what is even more worrying the parents don't seem to see anything wrong with this.

      It is high time that cyclists' belief that they ought to have a permanent "get out of jail card" awarded to them was debunked once and for all. IMHO the Dutch law is morally outrageous.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Go Dutch

        All I'm reading there is there are some bad cyclists and so you don't like cyclists.

        As other commenters have said, there are bad everyone. I fairly often see people wandering about in the middle of busy roads because they expect traffic to just stop for them when they want to cross. I've seen bad drivers take out cyclists who were doing absolutely nothing wrong (most commonly because they can't be bothered waiting behind them on a narrow road or while turning left). I've seen buses mount the pavement and nearly take out pedestrians when pulling up to stops (and one particularly entertaining out-of-service driver who used his access to the bus lane to weave in and out of heavy traffic). Taxis attempting to undertake me while I'm cycling while I've been in an outside lane to pass parked cars and they've just moved off. Other cyclists telling you to let them past so they can run red lights (this really happens, and my heart sinks every time I see one do it because it's just more fuel for this blame all cyclists point of view, and your straw man that cyclists as a whole believe they're exempt from laws). There are some total idiots out there. But the vast majority of people manage to not kill each other and there are plenty of considerate road users of all stripes.

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Go Dutch

      Even if the cyclist is drunk,cuts some off or runs a light. If so thats extremely stupid .

  23. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    True in general

    After about 10 minutes of this I managed to get it working, but it doesn't need to be that hard.

    That is to say, vehicle charging station interfaces have received the same attention to detail as most other tech products.

  24. Adam 52 Silver badge

    May I leave this here?

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/using-the-road-159-to-203

    Quite frankly some of the attitudes in this thread lead me to wonder if any of you should be allowed on the roads in any vehicle.

  25. keith_w

    I think that the government should be certifying that the software is fit for purpose through testing the AV, which would alieve any concerns about passenger liability, since the automobile is the driver, any meatsacks in the vehicle are merely passengers. This should result in lower insurance premiums (HA!) all round since there will be much lower exposure to liability. For those who will immediately jump on and suggest that the government will do no such thing, please remember that they already specify many things in our automobiles from lights to restraint systems and already crash test vehicles.

  26. Nick Kew

    The Netherlands have a simple rule - any RTA involving a cyclist, it's the non-cyclists fault.

    Citation needed, 'cos that sounds like a misrepresentation in more than one way.

    First, it's not fault, it's a presumption of responsibility. That's not the same as fault. Persons in charge of dangerous machines have a responsibility to use them safely.

    Second, it's not cyclists vs the rest, it's associated entirely with being in charge of a deadly weapon. Just as if you're in charge of a gun that accidentally goes off and does something bad - even if the person who got shot should never have been there.

  27. This Side Up
    Headmaster

    Driverless means there isn't a driver

    1. Please stop using "driverless" and "autonomous" interchangeably. A driverless car (SAE level 5) doesn't have a driver, hence the name "driverless" (no driver). So it doesn't have driving controls and can't switch to being driven by a person. Vehicles with lower levels of automation can.

    2. Software will have bugs in it. It's only a matter of time before the right combination of circumstances will arise to reveal them.

  28. HKmk23

    It should be law

    For all the lycra nazis to have and use a bell for audible warning of approach (I think it might be law), for all push bikes to be fitted with rear view mirrors, to be licensed and to be insured.

    I would like to see a road test introduced and an IQ test for push bike riders but that last idea is probably a bit of an oxymoron.

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