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Cyclists hold back introduction of self-driving vehicles, reports suggest

Autonomous lorries could be introduced on certain routes across the Netherlands

Joe Robinson
13 Feb 2019

The immediate future of driverless vehicles could be put on ice as recent reports suggest that the technology will struggle to cope with bicycles.

A recent report by auditor KMPG found that the variation in size and speed of cyclists would provide to big a challenge to current technology for the implementaion of self-driving vehicles in urban communities.

Driverless cars use laser-sensing systems and cameras to detect and react to other vehicles in their vicinity. 

While the report supported the use of driverless vehicles on motorways and other major roads it found that it makes 'more sense to keep transport modes separate rather than integrating autonomous vehicles to work' in urban areas.

KPMG automotive expert Stijn de Groen also said that 'in urban, crowded areas it will be very difficult to start autonomous driving.'

This comes off the back of plans from the Dutch government to introduce 100 driveless HGVs for night haulage trips between Amsterdam and Antwerp in neighbouring Belgium.

The technology would see one human-driven lorry lead a larger convoy of driverless trucks through major roads using developed 5G technology and over a thousand smart traffic lights.

It concluded that for such technology to be introduced into a city such as Amsterdam, where the bike is very much king and accounts for a quarter of all trips, the technology would fail to cope with the number of cycles.

The plans, which have also seen the introduction of a Dutch self-driving driving licence, have been laid out with neighbouring Belgium and Germany in order to prepare for future developments. It is predicted that 25% of new vehicles sold by 2035 could use this autonomous technology.

The same reports also found that the UK is the seventh most prepared nation for autonomous vehicles. It is expected that a public trial of self-driving taxis could be introduced into London by 2021 as well as autonomous buses across the Forth Bridge, Scotland.

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