The announcement that there is testing for “self-driving” lorries in the UK from 2018 is a cause for concern for me, and this is the subject of this blog post: self-driving vehicles and drones.
Anyone can buy a drone, fix explosives to it, then crash it into a target. My position in this regard is a ban on private ownership of drones, and severe regulation on commercial drone ownership.
Self-driving vehicles is another area of technology I have concerns with. The security on a large majority of computer-run devices or machines is crap, and any reasonably proficient hacker can hijack any device or machine. Imagine a hacker cracking into the systems of a truck carrying fuel and crashing it into a crowd of people, no fantasy, it is easily done.
I run and cycle a lot. I know how tricky it is when going down dark narrow one-lane roads with their bends and overgrown hedges that pushes you into the road with no possibility to avoid the vehicle. Imagine then an encounter with a self-driving vehicle in these conditions, even if this vehicle is moving 20mph or 30kmh, it will still inflict life changing or fatal injuries, and any talk about it avoiding an accident is delusional. The experience as a pedestrian or cyclist of navigating an already busy and challenging world of traffic inhabited with self-driving vehicles sends a chill down my back.
It is a sad reflection of modern-day society in the UK that the car is king in the road, that children who once played in their road are driven out by these machines, and now also must face a new threat of an automated version incapable of acting with the same insight that humans have of places full of children, or the ability to navigate against the impulsive way children play and act. Once the automated machines become dominant on the road, watch the deaths and injuries of children and animals skyrocket.