Percy’s Ramblings

Occasionally it can be very annoying when travelling in a convoy of vehicles, especially when a twelve-wheel wagon stops at a pedestrian crossing, and the driver climbs out of it to walk across the road to buy a lottery ticket from one of the kiosks that can be seen in every high street.

This happened a few days ago with twelve or fifteen cars lined up behind him, all having to wait while he got back into the truck and carried on with his journey.

As from May the eleventh, speed limits in Spain, especially in built up areas, are going to be drastically reduced to practically a walking pace, in some situations, similar to having someone walking in front with a red flag, granting they have dispensed with that requirement, although it was a prerequisite in the early days of the motorcar in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile we learn that from the end of this year driverless cars will be allowed on the British Motorways. I am certain this has been looked at diligently. Then again, I do not know what the general feelings are for this to happen.

However, I cannot help comparing it with the news item the previous day, a report of two youngsters who took an electric Tessler for a ride thinking it was great fun to let the car do the steering, featuring a picture of a damaged car which had left the road, and according to the report, hit a well-developed and solid tree, bursting into flames, killing the occupants.

I would like to think that electronic sensors are capable of controlling an ‘Exocet’ type motor car hurtling down dual carriageway roads, without colliding with another vehicle or some other object.

What happens when a stag leaves the comfort of the woods and chases across the roadway? Can the driverless cars travelling in a bunch control such a situation?

I am no expert when it comes to these devices, or electronics, but I do know when there is thunder and lightning in the sky; the picture on our television is distorted and flickers.

Now I have a different picture in my mind of a flash of bright light in the heavens above a motorway, and millions of these sensors in a multitude of driverless cars are confused, and send the autos into a tailspin.

There is also the problem of black ice, that horror of all horrors. A thin coat of highly transparent ice which has caused no end of accidents by transport losing road grip. The reason it is see through is because it blends in with the road covering since it is so thin, making it nearly impossible to see. Will the sensors recognise it?

In my opinion it seems to be a step too far.

There is also the case where a car controlling itself, while the occupant was doing something other than driving, the cars sensors did not see the elderly person and killed her. The report concluded she was wearing all black and therefore was not recognisable.

In the UK there is a beautiful new railway being built, the HS2 network to speed up journeys from South to North. Let us imagine for a minute there is this very busy person who has a need to travel.

It is early morning. They sit in their car which is capable of self-control. They have a choice of letting the car take them to the station, where they will join a queue to get their ticket, and then walk down a cold platform and find a cramped seat with others, and do something similar at the other end and also the return journey.

Or they can stay in the warm comfort of the vehicle and let it take them to their destination. Will the railway become a white elephant?

Whilst the boffins of the World play with electronics and a way of trying to control the Populus by taking over day to day tasks, is it possible that the same energy is being placed into how to control the amount of plastic being produced, so as to be rid of its damaging outcome

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