Driverless cars are due to be tested on public roads by the conclusion of 2013, says the UK government.
So far, Great Britain trials of the autonomous vehicles have taken place solely on non-public land.
Driverless cars are radio-controlled by a system of sensors and cameras and are seen as much safer and a lot more economical than regular vehicles.
Internet Corporation Google are at the forefront of the technology however currently several leading automotive manufacturers including Mercedes, Toyota, Ford, Audi and Volvo are at present developing their own systems that rely for the most part on a mix of GPS, cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors.
However, the visual sensors and cameras are dependent on having clear visible road markings and signs, particularly at night. We are going to have to just wait and see just how effective these systems are on British roads as much of the network in accordance to the RSMA’s (Road Safety Markings Association) recent survey is well below the required standard.
Reportedly, most vehicle accidents occur because of driver error.
However, unless the standards of road markings are drastically improved to permit this new technology to operate as supposed, accident responsibility is also challenged.
The inconsistency that runs throughout the network is another obstacle which will limit the effectiveness of the system.
A recent road safety article within the RSMA’s ‘Top Marks’ magazine* entitled; ‘ERF at the forefront of rising road safety in Europe’ indicates the growing importance of a well maintained road infrastructure. The article notices this:
“The Europe Road Federation (ERF) has initiated a really promising cooperation with the European Road Assessment Programme and also the European Association of car makers on the conception of the ‘Roads that Cars will Read.”
Recognising the importance of a well-maintained road infrastructure for the effective operation of Advanced Driver assistance Systems (ADAS) EuroRAP and…