MAG submits autonomous views to House of Lords

MAG has submitted its views on the development of autonomous vehicle technology to the House of Lords, which has commenced a major review of the science and operation of self-driving vehicles.

In 2016, MAG has generated the most comprehensive perspective of any riders’ rights organisation in Europe on the question of self-driving vehicles.  MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, believes that this technology has the capacity to improve road utilisation, but also to restrict road space and usage for manually controlled machines, including motorcycles.  ‘Self-driving technology is already a reality in many sectors, most notably on certain rail systems in the UK.  There are also numerous tests of self-driving technology in progress in places such as Greenwich and Milton Keynes.  So it’s right for the Lords committee to investigate this field.

‘MAG is very much in favour of technical progress – as long as it IS progress.  In this context, any attempt to ring fence parts of the road space for autonomous vehicles would be strongly opposed by the movement.

 This is in part because MAG has observed a worrying increase in congestion – and therefore quite possibly pollution – as a result of aspects of the segregated cycle schemes in London.  We want to work as stakeholders with the Government to make sure autonomous vehicles don’t add further problems to the road network.  Calm discussion and the setting or parameters which properly define the relationship between autonomous vehicles and the rest of the traffic community are what’s called for here.  These are the points we’ve made in our submission to the committee, and we hope we will be called as witnesses to their inquiry when the time comes.’

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