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Driverless cars and roundabouts

There's been talk about driverless cars recently, with Google bringing out one without any controls for humans to drive it with. What I keep wondering about them is whether they'll be able to manage roundabouts? They test these things in America, where they don't tend to have them, and people tend not to signal on roundabouts in particular.

I have quite a lot between home and work (eleven, if I've counted correctly, twelve on the way home) so I've seen a lot of terrible driving on them. There's one fairly small one with only four exits, at which most people go straight on. I've seen people going straight on who signal left or right.

There's one roundabout on my way home where I often have to stop to wait for people coming across from the right. Except actually they're turning left, they just didn't want anyone to know and made me stop to wait for them for no reason.

There's the roundabout where the right lane goes right, the left lane is for the other three exits. Most people go straight on. Some of them from the right lane and don't see a problem with getting off the roundabout from the inside when I am on their outside (my red car is clearly invisible).

There was a particularly good one in front of me one day when I left work early. They were in the right lane, then suddenly signalled left. I kept well back as they proceeded to go straight on.

I met an even better one last week on my nearest roundabout. My options are left and right. A lot of people at rush hour are going from my right across to my left (straight over for them). They don't slow down much and it's on a corner, so when you can't see a car coming you have to put your foot down until you're safely on the roundabout and out of their way. Someone was in front of me and turning left. There's only one lane on this roundabout (unless, bizarrely, you're going from left to right as I look at it). I came up behind them, saw there was nothing coming, put my foot down, then looked ahead of me. To see the car in front had gone to the left, but at the last minute decided to go right instead and I was now headed straight for them.

You can't tell me driverless cars are going to be able to cope with that.

Mirrored from my blog.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 9th, 2014 10:42 pm (UTC)
Driverless cars would only work if everyone was using them. Computers don't drive like idiots.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )