Reply to post: Re: Teleporting trucks

Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief

John H Woods

Re: Teleporting trucks

"If you are a person you can see far enough into it to make a decision that the lane is currently empty "

The number of places you can safely swerve is VERY limited: most drivers could only safely perform that manouvre if they were already preparing to safely overtake the vehicle in front.

Swerving to avoid hitting a pedestrian, cyclist or horse is probably acceptable. But you have to remember that most modern cars will keep you safe in a front-on impact at considerable speed. Even if your swerve is not endangering other road users, you may pose a greater risk to yourself by virtue of the fact that you are more likely to lose control of the car.

I swerved a 7.5 tonne horsebox to avoid hitting a lorry that had attempted to cross a main road in front of me and had stalled. This was firstly a defensive driving failure. I had seen the lorry stop at the junction to the road I was travelling down, and I assumed it would stay stopped. Then when I saw it moving I assumed it would safely cross in front of me. When it stalled, I braked as hard as I could given that there were valuable horses on board and was at about 20mph when I would have crashed; I swerved round at low speed, mounting the verge, and we were all safe. A self driving car would never have made this mistake as it would have assumed (as I now do) that a vehicle on the side of the road may pull in front of you at any time. And without horses on board, I could have easily stopped the vehicle in the distance I had. And, even if the distance had been a lot shorter, without horses on board, I wouldn't have swerved, either: I would hae just driven it into the side of the lorry at 20mph.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019