Stagecoach self-drive bus tests are set to go ahead in depots as the company makes the move toward autonomous vehicles on UK roads in the near future.
With bus accidents already being a common type of personal injury claim that people need to make, our worries are that the Stagecoach self-drive vehicle move may pave the way for a bigger focus on technology that has already resulted in accidents and fatalities.
Clearly, self-drive technology isn’t ready, but the long-term worry is whether it will ever be truly ready, and what happens to those who fall victim to accidents where the creases of the system are being ironed out.
Stagecoach self-drive testing marks a new era for public transport
The Stagecoach self-drive testing project has moved us into a new era where we expect competitors to follow suit. There are already other tech companies like Google and Tesla testing autonomous vehicles across the world, but a mainstream name in UK transport joining the cohort could trigger others to get more involved as well.
Stagecoach say that their self-drive vehicles could improve safety with sensors looking out for pedestrians, cyclists and covering bind spots. But a key question for us is why this technology shouldn’t already be applied to manually-driven buses as well (if it already isn’t).
In any event, the important fact remains that these Stagecoach self-drive vehicles could one day be on the roads and may not be manned. Can we really trust a set of computer-operated processes to be able to react to every single unique situation that could arise in the same way a human brain can? How can we ever really account for every single eventuality?
Stagecoach self-drive vehicles testing in depots
Until the law changes to properly allow for autonomous vehicle use on UK roads, the Stagecoach self-drive vehicle testing is set to take place in depots.
So far, there have been a number of accidents and fatalities linked to the use of self-drive vehicles. Cleary, the technology is not yet refined enough to allow for these vehicles to be utilised safely on the roads.
With legislative headaches over how liability will rest, and how accident claims involving self-drive vehicles will be processed, it’s clear to us that there are still way too many unknowns.
What also worries us is the idea of fatalities and injuries caused during the early phase use of autonomous vehicles like the Stagecoach self-drive buses. It feels like people getting hurt is somewhat inevitable, which is a huge cause for concern.