IAM RoadSmart has expressed concern that cars with growing levels of autonomy could make motorists lazy and over reliant on gadgets – with far reaching implications for the potential reduction of people killed and seriously injured on the roads.
IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, strongly supports this conclusion from yesterday’s (15 March) House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The future?
The report sets out recommendations for the government to ensure it makes policy and investment decisions that enable the UK to receive maximum economic and safety benefits from autonomous vehicles.
IAM RoadSmart also added that there is widespread concern from the charity’s members about the ease with which a driverless car could be hacked (reference 1) – with research showing there are many places security could be breached in a modern vehicle on sale today (reference 2).
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “When it comes to driverless cars, IAM RoadSmart members are not keen to give up full control and are also very concerned about hacking, so we welcome the House of Lords Technology Committee’s view that cyber security is an important issue.
“The implications for future driver competence and training as we become more reliant on technology are still far from clear, and it is vital that the government supports the committee’s call for further research in this area.
“IAM RoadSmart is already responding to this call by providing research grants and organising a conference in October on how we safely manage the transition to autonomous cars.”
The House of Lords’ committee said in its report: “Autonomous cars could have negative implications for drivers' competence, making drivers complacent and overly reliant on technology. This is of particular concern in emergency situations, where a driver may react slowly to taking back control of a vehicle.
“The Government should give priority to commissioning and encouraging research studying behavioural questions and ensure it is an integral part of any trials it funds.”
Notes to editors:
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IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com
To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups