Self driving cars. The future?

The notion of the self driving car has been around for a number of years now, Peugeot did a design that allows a car to know when it’s coming to lane division markings and used gps to keep to the speed limits. You may also remember BMW showing a car they had designed on top gear that required you to drive a route once then it would do it at ballistic speed.

Fast forwards to 2014 and the government give the go ahead to test fully automated cars on our roads. One thug you can guarantee is the “claim now” specialists will be looking for them.

The bbc have written a brilliant article on it that u include below. Enjoy the read.

UK to allow driverless cars on public roads in January
30 July 2014 Last updated at 11:29

The BBC’s Jon Ironmonger finds out how a driverless car works
The UK government has announced that driverless cars will be allowed on public roads from January next year.

It also invited cities to compete to host one of three trials of the tech, which would start at the same time.

In addition, ministers ordered a review of the UK’s road regulations to provide appropriate guidelines.

The Department for Transport had originally pledged to let self-driving cars be trialled on public roads by the end of 2013.

Business Secretary Vince Cable revealed the details of the new plan at a research facility belonging to Mira, an automotive engineering firm based in the Midlands.

“Today’s announcement will see driverless cars take to our streets in less than six months, putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society,” he said.

UK engineers, including a group at the University of Oxford, have been experimenting with driverless cars. But, concerns about legal and insurance issues have so far restricted the machines to private roads.

Other countries have, however, been swifter to provide access to public routes.
“I got back in one piece”, Business Secretary Vince Cable reflects on his trip in a driverless car.
The US States of California, Nevada and Florida have all approved tests of the vehicles. In California alone, Google’s driverless car has done more than 300,000 miles on the open road.

In 2013, Nissan carried out Japan’s first public road test of an autonomous vehicle on a highway.

And in Europe, the Swedish city of Gothenburg has given Volvo permission to test 100 driverless cars – although that trial is not scheduled to occur until 2017.

Competition cash

UK cities wanting to host one of the trials have until the start of October to declare their interest.

The tests are then intended to run for between 18 to 36 months.

A £10m fund has been created to cover their costs, with the sum to be divided between the three winners.

Meanwhile, civil servants have been given until the end of this year to publish a review of road regulations.

This will cover the need for self-drive vehicles to comply with safety and traffic laws, and involve changes to the Highway Code, which applies to England, Scotland and Wales.

Two area will be examined by the review: how the rules should apply to vehicles in which the driver can take back control at short notice, and how they should apply to vehicles in which there is no driver.
How do driverless cars work?
Google’s self-drive car combines video and sensor data to determine where to steer
The label “driverless vehicle” actually covers a lot of different premises.

Indeed, the cruise control, automatic braking, anti-lane drift and self-parking functions already built into many vehicles offer a certain degree of autonomy.

But the term is generally used to refer to vehicles that take charge of steering, accelerating, indicating and braking during most if not all of a journey between two points, much in the same way aeroplanes can be set to autopilot.

Unlike the skies, however, the roads are much more crowded, and a range of technologies are being developed to tackle the problem.

One of the leading innovations is Lidar (light detection and ranging), a system that measures how lasers bounce off reflective surfaces to capture capture information about millions of small points surrounding the vehicle every second. The technology is already used to create the online maps used by Google and Nokia.

Another complimentary technique is “computer vision” – the use of software to make sense of 360-degree images captured by cameras attached to the vehicle, which can warn of pedestrians, cyclists, roadworks and other objects that might be in the vehicle’s path.
Part of the challenge for manufacturers will be how to hide the many sensors involved
Autonomous vehicles can also make use of global-positioning system (GPS) location data from satellites; radar; ultrasonic sensors to detect objects close to the car; and further sensors to accurately measure the vehicle’s orientation and the rotation of its wheels, to help it understand its exact location.

The debate now is whether to allow cars, like the prototype unveiled by Google in May, to abandon controls including a steering wheel and pedals and rely on the vehicle’s computer.

Or whether, instead, to allow the machine to drive, but insist a passenger be ready to wrest back control at a moment’s notice.
International rivals

In May, Google unveiled plans to manufacture 100 self-driving vehicles.

The search-giant exhibited a prototype which has no steering wheel or pedals – just a stop-go button.

Google has also put its autonomous driving technology in cars built by other companies, including Toyota, Audi and Lexus.

Other major manufacturers, including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and General Motors, are developing their own models.

Most recently, the Chinese search engine Baidu also declared an interest, saying its research labs were at an “early stage of development” on a driverless car project.

But concerns about the safety of driverless cars have been raised by politicians in the US and elsewhere.

Earlier this month, the FBI warned that driverless cars could be used as lethal weapons, predicting that the vehicles “will have a high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with a car”.

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As asked a video explaining correct foot positioning.


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Be vigilant for cyclists. They are the most vulnerable road users and sometimes the most erratic. Who on earth would go through a red light for instance?

That said it’s not always their fault as the video I’m about to share shows. Also bear in mind a cycle in the left hand Kane of a roundabout could be going ANYWHERE. They don’t have the acceleration needed to change lanes. DO NOT CUT THEM UP, DON’T MOVE IN WITHOUT CHECKING YOUR LEFT MIRROR they move faster than you think. Don’t turn left without checking your left mirror. You will kill them.


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Motorway tuition.

Having driven to the Trafford centre on Sunday, I couldn’t believe how dangerously people are driving on Britain’s fastest roads. Tailgating and erratic lane changes being the most prevent behaviour. The middle lane is NOT your comfort zone either.

I can’t express the need for motorway tuition enough. Go and see your local instructor and either have a motorway lesson or a pass plus. The later can reduce your insurance as a bonus. If your over 25 go and do the advanced course with the police. You never finish learning. If we’re all doing it the same way surely the roads will be safer.
The government told us (as instructors) that motorway tuition for learners by the summer of two years ago would be legal. They’ve not as yet passed this legislation. Please get it right before more people are killed needlessly on Britain’s roads.


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More on stupidity.

The use of any hand held electronic equipment without a cradle is illegal. I honestly can’t believe that people are still using their phones whilst driving. Facebook can wait!
The ignorance about mobile phone law, with 21% not realising it is
illegal to check Facebook and Twitter while driving,
according to the RAC. Its research also found that more
than one-in-ten (12%) do not know that texting and
driving is illegal. Ignorance about texting at the wheel of a stationary car with the engine on is higher still with 61% not realising it is against the law. It is therefore an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone or smartphone when the vehicle is stopped at traffic lights, is stationary in a traffic jam or is parked with the engine running.
But the survey found that nearly half (47%) of motorists think it acceptable to
use a mobile phone while sat in traffic lights or stuck in congestion.
If you want to use it, PARK UP (legally), ENGINE OFF and then pick it up.


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Tax disc renewals.

Many of you will know of the plans to scrap the tax disc itself as the anpr system can check more quickly than a person can look. Here’s the latest in it.
With only one week to the transition date, just a reminder that from 21 July you will be able to:
 Access the DVLA’s online vehicle tax service. This will allow Northern Ireland motorists to tax a vehicle or make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Simply go to or
Call the automated number 0300 123 4321. It takes less than five minutes.

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How many times?

Really? People can’t be this bad.
More practice needed clearly!

A 28-year old woman, has failed her driving theory test 110 times, new figures reveal. She has spent a staggering £3,410 in a bid to show she knows rules of road. But she is yet to pass – and still has the practical driving test to overcome. Figures also show that a

40-year-old man has failed the practical test 40 times!


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Dvsa change their advisory for new drivers.

New advisory from the dvsa. The advice here seems pretty simple but in the heat of the moment the obvious escapes more often than not.

On the site, is a ‘new code’ for new drivers.
Safety code for new drivers
This code will help you drive safely in your first year after passing the driving test, when you are most vulnerable.
You should always follow the Highway Code.
1.It’s most dangerous driving at night – don’t drive between midnight and 6am unless it’s really necessary.
2.Don’t let passengers distract you or encourage you to take risks – tell them that you need to concentrate on the road.
3.Never show off or try to compete with other drivers, particularly if they are driving badly. 4.Don’t drive if you’ve drunk any alcohol or taken drugs. Some medicines can affect your ability to drive safely – always read the warning on the label.
5.Make sure everyone’s wearing a seat belt throughout the journey.
6.Keep your speed down – especially on bends.
7.Be very careful driving high-powered or sporty cars – even if you learnt to drive in one. 8.You must have insurance – it’s an offence to drive without it.
You’ll lose your licence if you get 6 penalty points within 2 years of passing your first driving test. You’ll need to pass both tests again to get it back.

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What is wrong with people?

It’s bad enough that these idiots are drink driving but putting children directly in harms way is incredible.
Tara King was still twice the legal limit in the afternoon after knocking back shots the night before A mum arrested for drink-driving with her four children in the car said she was over the limit because she’d knocked back shots the night before. Tara King, 32, was caught speeding along Tartan Street in Manchester, close to a primary school. She told the Manchester Evening News the conviction had ruined her life – and warned people who think they’re safe to drive hours after getting drunk to “watch out” “An aggravating feature is that she had her four children aged 14, eight, seven and three in the car with her.” She was disqualified for three years and ordered to attend a drivers’ impaired by alcohol program of 35 sessions after she admitted driving with excess alcohol. Magistrates also ordered her to pay £85 costs and a £60 surcharge. Tara King

A man is behind bars after speeding and driving drunk with four children in the car. Police pulled over Reginald Britton, 42, last Friday night after an officer said he saw Britton driving in excess of 90 mph. According to an arrest report, Britton was also drunk. Four children ages 2, 4, 7 and 9 were in the rear of the vehicle. Only one child was in a car seat and two shared a single seat belt. Britton is charged with speeding, operating on a suspended license, failure to maintain insur- ance, driving under the influence, booster seat violations, failure to wear seat belts and too many passengers in vehicle

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New style licence

A quick look at how licences will have to be check from next year.
As many of you already know the counterpart of the driving licence is to be removed October 2015. Currently the DVLA are running this trial for you to check YOUR OWN DRIVING LICENCE and then provide feedback. Currently, there is no print facility which would be useful if only to prove the pupil / client was not disqualified and / or to record D/L number; know definitively what categories they are permitted to drive (might not be an issue for learner drivers, but might be for those learning or driving already in the commercial world).

Can I invite you to go and take a look at the link above and then provide feedback to the DVLA about what you thought of the trial thus far and anything you feel might aid you in your work when the time comes for you to ask a pupil / client to check their own licence details.

You will note there are THREE pieces of information the DVLA need for a licence check to be made – Driver Number – NI number – Post Code.

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