Concerns from motorcyclists about self-driving cars “are entirely valid”

As the first vulnerable road user group that will interact with self-driving vehicles, motorcyclists need to play an influential role in their introduction.

That’s the view expressed by the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), in response to a Government consultation on the safety standards of the emerging technology.

In August, the Government announced plans to roll out self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2025, with trials on motorways starting in 2023.  

A consultation asking for views on a proposed safety standard was launched – and closes today (14 October).  

Recognising that self-driving technology cannot be 100% safe, the consultation suggests that self-driving vehicles should be as safe as a ‘competent and careful’ human driver.

MAG’s consultation response rejects the proposed standard, saying that it is far too subjective.  

It calls for a “far more complex and rigorous measurement backed with removal of licences and models that fail to achieve a statistical target”.

Colin Brown, director of campaigns and political engagement, said: “Given the level of technological and scientific rigour needed to develop self-driving vehicles it is incongruous to then set a subjective safety target.  

“You wouldn’t send a rocket to land on the moon while saying ‘hopefully it will end up somewhere in the vicinity of the moon’.  

“Motorcyclists face being the first vulnerable road user group that will interact with self-driving vehicles. It is clear that there are many concerns which are entirely valid.  

“Motorcyclists will play a role in the debate, and it must be influential.  

“Self-driving technology should be developed to benefit humanity; we see no sense in forcing humanity to adapt to fit in with any of its shortcomings. If these vehicles cannot safely interact with us as human riders, then they have no place being rolled out.”

14 October 2022

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