Turns Out Driverless Cars Can't Coexist With Cyclists

By Holly Brockwell on at

The Dutch government has run into a major problem with its plans for driverless cars: they can't seem to get along with bikes. And there are quite a few bikes in the Netherlands.

The plan was for 100 autonomous lorries to drive along set routes at night, following a person-driven car like a load of autonomous ducklings following their human mother (that's a mental image we won't forget anytime soon). The so-called 'Tulip corridors' are used to transport goods using smart traffic lights and 5G.

However, a new report by KPMG says the government is barking up entirely the wrong tree trying to get autonomous vehicles and bikes to get along, because cyclists are just too variable in terms of appearance and ability for driverless cars to safely share roads with them.

Instead, the report says the self-driving trucks should stick to motorways, where there are (one would hope) no cyclists.

There are more than 22 million bikes in the Netherlands, which has a population of 17 million. Yep, that's more bikes than people.

The same report puts the UK in seventh place in terms of our preparedness for self-driving cars. That we made the top ten in preparedness for anything but unending oblivion is a pleasant surprise.

However, it's not all praise – the UK apparently "lags behind other countries in 4G coverage, global connectivity, quality of roads (especially smaller roads) and logistics infrastructure." Also Brexit preparation, but no one else was in the running for that so technically we're first.

Photo by Luca Campioni on Unsplash