back to article Connected and self-driving cars are being sent to Coventry

The UK Autodrive connected car consortium will start practical trials of its connected and autonomous cars on the streets of Coventry, it has declared. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Ford and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), all of which are partners in the project, are trialling a number of connected car features in …

  1. wolfetone

    Well if a self driving car can navigate the Coventry ring road without problems then I'm sold on the idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "without problems"

      If it could navigate it with fewer problems than a human driver, that should be enough.

    2. monty75

      I am genuinely interested to see how they deal with the ring road and it's ridiculous join/leave at the same point junctions.

      1. Dr_Cynic

        The ring road itself is fine (apart possibly for junction 2) if people take notice of the signs and use it how it is designed.

        As for all the silly shared space junctions inside the ring road that is a different matter.

        They are also in the process of 'upgrading' a load of the traffic lights at busy junctions outside the ring road, though if anything their 'smart system' appears to have made the congestion worse at the one I pass through every day.

  2. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Why Coventry?

    Because if the cars run amok, nothing of value will be lost?

    1. Colin Bull 1

      Re: Why Coventry?

      The Coventry Transport museum is well worth a visit - even more so as it is free entry.

  3. Big Al 23

    Coventry just as good... any other place to smash and crash cars not ready for prime time. There are NO mandatory hardened security, certified maintenance, agreed liability or other necessary aspects of "connected cars" including EVs. When the software is written to try and avoid an unavoidable accident, the programmer has to decide who will die in an unavoidable accident and there are no legal agreements. Without redundant and failsafe systems many people will die. Federal governments are taking the position of reacting after people are injured or killed as has already happen with drivers using Tesla's "Autopilot". The Feds INMHO are abdicating their responsibility to insure public safety by allowing rush-to-market vehicles so that the first suppliers of these vehicles can reap massive profits. It's simply unacceptable and complete irresponsible to not mandate the appropriate vehicle safety, security, design and maintenance requirements before these vehicles are allowed to be tested on roadways.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coventry just as good...

      "The Feds" ? What do they have to do with this?

      This is Coventry, England, not Coventry, Rhode Island.

    2. Lusty

      Re: Coventry just as good...

      Liability has been sorted on this side of the pond actually. Driverless cars were heavily debated in parliament this year.

      Also, there's no such thing as an unavoidable accident between two cars. It's that kind of thinking that makes me want these sooner rather than later so we can get human drivers off the road. Humans always ignore the third option when considering whether the driver or pedestrian should die. Option 3 = drive slower! Machines don't consider "late for work" in their calculations...

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: Coventry just as good...

        "Also, there's no such thing as an unavoidable accident between two cars. "

        So a high speed blow-out never occurs?

        What about hitting one of the mother-of-a-pothole that are appearing with increasing frequency and ripping a wheel off?

        What about general mechanical failure?

        There *should* be fewer accidents as many driving accidents are avoidable however there's no such thing as unavoidable unless you never take the vehicle out of the drive (even then you can get killed by handbrake failure ... but I suppose that's avoidable by not parking it on a slope?)

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Coventry just as good...

      "the programmer has to decide who will die in an unavoidable accident "

      I don't know where this strange notion comes from. If an accident is unavoidable the primary concern of the software should be the safety of the passengers. There is no 'correct' solution to the trolley problem, everyone has their own internal answer, which likely in the real world (ie if it actually happens with them behind the wheel) is different from their 'declared' answer from the safety of one's sofa. Why should we expect that AIs should satisfactorily solve the trolley problem, or programmers do so on their behalf?

  4. Chris Jasper

    RE: Article picture

    "You made a self-driving car? Out of a DeLorean??"

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: RE: Article picture

      1.21 gigaflops... when this baby gets to version 88.0, you're going to see some serious sh*t....

  5. Anonymous C0ward

    Is the satnav

    still going to send it into a river?

    1. Humpty McNumpty

      Re: Is the satnav

      If, as would make the sense, autonomous vehicles make extensive use of "sat nav" and mapping data, the ridiculous errors everyone likes to keep pointing should be no issue. There's absolutely no reason why a the maps can't rapidly update to exclude the tiny single track lanes, unclassified roads, and low bridges as those errors are encountered. Just as with live traffic data, road type and suitability for the vehicle in question can be rapidly learnt by what will undoubtedly be largely cloud based systems updated by millions of drones (us).

      Most of the existing issues are caused by locally stored very outdated maps on primitive devices that provide little or no options for feedback. And in some case, idiots... I would expect a "smart" car to be able to spot a cliff or a river...

  6. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Left hand ... meet right hand

    The problem here is that UK road design and management has for *years* taken a stance that private motoring is bad, and not to be encouraged.

    Hence the proliferation of road layouts and traffic signals which actually *slow* a journey down.

    If you want to win a bet, compare the A38 from Longbridge to Edgbaston priory via the "bypasses" which takes about 3-4 minutes longer (watch out for the *pedestrian lights with their 20-second phase) than going through the town centres.

    Ever sat waiting for a light to change, and noticed that the pedestrian lights 25m on seem to be such that you hit them at red as soon as your light is green ? You didn't really think that's an accident.

  7. PickledAardvark

    Pardon me for asking...

    ...but why is a trial for driverless cars being announced by the Chancellor in a pre-budget leak? What has it to do with tax on beer, national insurance and government department spending?

    Apparently, "up to £1 billion" will be available for hi-tech projects "including £75m for research on artificial intelligence, £400m for electric car charging points and £100m to boost clean car sales" according to the Guardian. So he is not really spending anything on AVs.

  8. Stevie Silver badge


    And finally I understand why the Broadgate Ring was demolished and the place made a twisty maze of one-way streets.

    A plan 40 years in the making finally comes to fruition. BWA-HAHAHAHAHA!

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