Automated Car Technology Will ‘Put Lives At Risk’

Sat 24th Oct 2020

One of Europe’s leading car safety organisations has said that automated lane keeping systems could put the safety of other road users at risk due to major performance limitations.

ALKS grabbed plenty of headlines in the summer as it was announced by a handful of car manufacturers that they could be ready to implement the technology on UK roads in 2021, and that the government appeared to be backing the plans.

The automated lane keeping systems could technically allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel on motorways at speeds of up to 70mph.

Thatcham Research, which has extensively researched the ALKS technology points out that there are still a number of scenarios, which even with the automated system running, would require immediate human intervention.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham said: “Both the functionality of this technology and the regulations under which they will operate are limited. They cannot replicate what a competent and engaged human driver does.

“The vehicles we’ve seen simply have a couple of extra lidar sensors on them and that means they’re simply not suitable for automated driving. While we wholeheartedly support the introduction of automated driving, it has to be competent driving that’s as good at dealing with all sorts of situations on the road as real drivers, and ALKS have a number of serious limitations.”

Thatcham point out that the current systems can only interpret incidents around 120 metres ahead, which travelling at 70mph on a motorway would only allow for four seconds or reaction time.