Predictions 2020: Can our roads cope with self-driving cars?

Simon Worthy has an nightmare vision of the A14 clogged with autonomous vehicles

Currently, in between jobs I have been delivering cars. Picking up a lease-end cars from a private address and driving it to a Hub. A Hub is generally an airfield in the middle of nowhere, where airfields generally are. From these airfields the normal process is public transport out of nowhere. Buses are few and far between and the normal practice is to walk a few miles to a more populous place. 

The hindering factor is that one can only drive one car at a time. 

On these airfields across the UK there must be half a million cars. It is hard to imagine but a visit to one of the airfields will verify that they're rows and rows of cars as far as one can see. Photographs at these facilities are forbidden. 

Imagine the advent of autonomous cars. Drivers collecting and delivering these cars will be redundant. The car, at end of lease, will be able to get back to its Lease company or Auction house by itself. 

But imagine the bigger picture. A container ship of Toyota cars (Other makes of car are available) arrives at Harwich Port. These container ships can transport over 6000 at a time. 6000 cars to be unloaded. Then moved to a hub and then moved to a car dealers front showroom. 

With autonomous cars the cars can unload themselves. Off the container ship and then across the A14 in convoy. (No rubber ducky songs please). 6000 all heading down the A14. All a safe and discrete distance from each other. All brand new. 

Imagine being on the A14, which is currently a mess with road improvements and duplication, trying to get somewhere but having 6000 cars to contend with. Maybe they can plan this diaspora of cars at night?  

What a picture. Of course, all the new cars are carbon free and not made with Modern Day Slave labour. 

Simon Worthy is an IT consultant with a LLM in IT Law and is currently studying a MA in EU Public Procurement Law at King’s College London 

Published: 2020-01-02T14:00:00

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