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Opinion : Will self-driving cars be safe on the M40?

| April 26, 2017

The other lunchtime my good self was sitting on a bench in the grounds of the Parish Church.

Yours truly had hardly got half way through my lunch when one of my old friends came along and joined me. During the course of the conversation the topic of self-driving cars came up.

Apparently there is going to be a trial of self driving cars taking place on the M40.

By George!‘ I exclaimed upon hearing the news.

There are enough accidents on the M40 already, especially on the stretch from Stokenchurch to the M25 junction. I dread to think what will happen when the automatically controlled cars are added to the mix.

Indeed it should be interesting to see what happens. No doubt the cars will travel according to the highway code adhering to the speed limit.

As my friend pointed out if the cars keep to the rules of the road then surely it will make the motorway safer? However your humble servant thinks otherwise.

Surely it will make the M40 more dangerous if a couple of cars keep to the speed limit while the other reckless motorists are speeding by at 100?

If the self driving cars keep to the speed limit how will they change lanes? After all with so much speeding taking place on the M40 having a slower moving vehicle move in front just compounds the danger.

If self driving cars are to take to a dangerous road like the M40 then surely they should have orange flashing lights on the top so they can be seen at a distance by other motorists?

The simple fact is that the M40 is a speed merchants paradise due to the wickedly appalling lack of speed cameras and general lack of law enforcement on the motorway.

In my opinion technology has gone a step too far with the invention of a self driving car. Just wait until the technology comes widespread and self driving cars take to the roads of Wycombe.

Once the residents of Castlefield gain access to the technology maybe we will see self driving quad bikes roaming the streets of Wycombe with both the driver and passenger waving their hands in the air as the automated vehicle tears around the residential road of Wycombe.

Perhaps the self driving technology will be commercialised and we will see self driving and fully automated ice cream vans taking to the streets of the town?

No doubt some bright spark will take the self driving technology one step further and come up with what would effectively be a vending machine on wheels cruising around the streets stopping outside houses in the hope that a gullible customer puts money in a slot to buy an automatically dispensed product.

As far as yours truly is concerned having self driving vehicles anywhere is bad enough and letting them loose on a dangerous motorway like the M40 is just asking for trouble.

Due to the lack of an A&E department at Wycombe Hospital it will be a awfully long way for the dying and injured to be taken if there is an accident.

What do you think?

My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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