Human v Machine – which is better?

The future of autonomous vehicles.

It was recently announced that the UK Government was launching a consultation on the use of hands-free driving using Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS). Sooner or later automated driving will arrive & almost certainly benefit road safety, yet it will take some time to fully perfect the technology as there are serious concerns over its capability  especially in the insurance sector.

The new research suggests that ALKS could mean that we could see hands-free driving on UK roads by early 2021. This technology however is not fully autonomous, it relies heavily on the use of sensors & software to keep the vehicle in the correct lane & controlling the speed of the vehicle up to 70mph but the driver must always be vigilant, ready to take back control at any point. How will an autonomous vehicle respond in the event of an unplanned occurrence? Will it cope switching from motorway driving to built up areas when the system should automatically disengage?

The theory is that these systems should recognise if a driver is unresponsive & fails to react to the road conditions and take control, it should be able to take the decision to step in & make the decision to implement the safest course of action for the occupants & those around them.

Undoubtedly many people will have concerns & want questions answered over this planned autonomous future. Who will be liable from an insurance perspective – driver or manufacturer? How will laws vary from country to country and will there be compatibility issues with different driving regulations/permutations?

ALKS technology is currently limited by today’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) which has already demonstrated its safety limitations. Presently there is still confusion about how this new technology will increase safety performance, until then it is the insurer’s view that this technology should be classed as driver assisted systems rather than that of autonomous. Unless this technology is able to comply with the 12 insurer requirements for the safe introduction of autonomy laid out last year there will always be hesitance in consumer take-up and confidence in what should be a potential life-saving technology.

In the meantime for those of you old enough to remember the TV series #KnightRider it may be some time before we are able to pretend to be #MichaelKnight riding around in #Kit. Remember, if you do happen to have an accident #XVS are always here to help.

#StaySafe #XpressVehicleSolutions #XpressCentres

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