Road Safety News
 

Forum will debate: are we ready for the self-driving car?

Tuesday 19th January 2016

The next live online forum to be hosted on the Road Safety GB website will look at the issue of autonomous vehicles, and whether road users in the UK are ready to embrace the technology.

The forum will be hosted by Tyron Louw, a safety and technology academic at the University of Leeds, on 4 February, 12.30-1.30pm. The forum is open to anyone with no need to subscribe or log in. People can submit questions in advance, or on the day, to be answered by Tyron in real time.

It is the third in the series of RSGB online forums, following the success of the motorcycle and in-car safety/child car seat forums towards the back end of 2015.

The safety of autonomous vehicles is a hot topic for debate as the prospect of the technology being rolled out to the mass market becomes more of a reality.

Companies including Google, Tesla and Nissan are heavily investing in the market and in the period between September 2014 and November 2015, Google’s self-driving car recorded 424,331 test miles on roads in California.

In December 2015, a freedom of information request revealed that the Internet giant has held five meetings in the last two years with the Department for Transport (DfT) to discuss introducing driverless cars to the UK.

And a report published last week highlighted that drivers of Google’s self-driving car had to intervene 13 times in the 15 month period from September 2014 in order to stop the vehicle from crashing.

Tyron Louw's main research area is in driver behaviour and his PhD research focuses on the human factors of highly automated driving. He is specifically interested in how to safely re-engage the driver in manual driving.

He is also a research assistant on the EU funded projects CityMobil2 and AdaptIVe, where he investigates road users' interactions with automated road transport systems and tries to understand how drivers can safely interact with automated vehicles.

He has helped author a number of publications on the subject and delivered a presentation at the 2014 National Road Safety Conference.

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