Could the non-drivers not take a train?

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atlas_shrugged
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Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby atlas_shrugged » 4 Nov 2020, 8:30pm

Oxford Parkway and Oxford main rail station are connected by a direct train service. It is one stop and no changes. Why would they want autonomous cars with no driver to drive between these stations? On a week when a cyclist has been killed in Oxford and with this city at maximum motor vehicle congestion this is the most daft project I have ever heard of...


New autonomous car trial for Oxford streets
Autonomous Vehicles
02 November 2020

A new trial of autonomous vehicles was launched on Oxfordshire’s roads this week.

Project Endeavour will see a fleet of six Ford Mondeos, enabled by Oxbotica to be capable of Level 4 autonomous driving, complete a nine-mile round trip from Oxford Parkway station to Oxford’s main train station. Trials will be run at all times of day and night.

The project is part-funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and is being delivered in partnership with...

https://www.transportxtra.com/publicati ... rd-streets

Bonefishblues
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby Bonefishblues » 4 Nov 2020, 8:43pm

Because a trial has to be trialled somewhere? I think the trial is the point, and Oxford's a real challenge for an autonomous vehicle (I suspect)

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby atlas_shrugged » 4 Nov 2020, 8:54pm

I don't buy the Dr Mengele defence 'I vas only doing ze trial'. Prior to this are 'first do no harm' considerations.

To spew out exhaust, cause extra congestion, risk the lives of vulnerable road users FOR NO PURPOSE? DAY and NIGHT? At least let the cars perform some purpose. Why not take four passengers free of charge - at least provide some kind of benefit.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby Bonefishblues » 4 Nov 2020, 9:03pm

Because trial, so testing is going on, because insurance, because lack of consumer confidence, because it adds extra complexity to the trial?

Jdsk
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby Jdsk » 4 Nov 2020, 9:05pm

Bonefishblues wrote:Because a trial has to be trialled somewhere? I think the trial is the point...

That looks right to me.

Of course this technology has to be tested in real settings at the appropriate point. I'd like to be sure that the evaluation is as independent as possible and made public.

Jonathan

PS: Autonomous vehicles have an important rôle in reducing individual car ownership and congestion.

thirdcrank
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Nov 2020, 9:10pm

Presumably, railway stations have been selected so users can get there by public transport.

If you don't like cars, autonomous or otherwise, fair enough.

Jdsk
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby Jdsk » 4 Nov 2020, 9:15pm

thirdcrank wrote:Presumably, railway stations have been selected so users can get there by public transport.

Sounds likely. And there might be parking space... And these are near the developers.

It is a pity that they've chosen locally polluting vehicles.

Jonathan

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby atlas_shrugged » 5 Nov 2020, 9:14am

@jdsk

Agreed. This is exactly the point - these vehicles are polluting and they are also dangerous and they cause congestion and they destroy the roads and they are not using the journeys for any purpose.

Skip over to nearby Milton Keynes and *small* and *electric* autonomous vehicles the size of a small fridge are *delivering groceries* along the redways to houses in MK. Now that is a good use of technology. The speed the vehicles travel at is very low.

But here is the mad thing. Oxford Parkway to Oxford city centre is maybe about 4 miles and at peak time the journey could take maybe 1 hour. This means the MK autonomous vehicles are maybe travelling at twice the speed of the Oxford autonomous Ford Mondeos.

Autonomous vehicles do not solve congestion but non-stop Greenways do.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 5 Nov 2020, 12:42pm

Parkway to city, six minutes on the train
A no-brainer :wink:
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Jdsk
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby Jdsk » 5 Nov 2020, 12:44pm

As above. This isn't about moving people between the two stations. It's about real-world testing of an important technology that needs real-world testing.

Jonathan

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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby mjr » 5 Nov 2020, 1:00pm

Jdsk wrote:As above. This isn't about moving people between the two stations. It's about real-world testing of an important technology that needs real-world testing.

But why does it need testing with unnecessarily-polluting vehicles?
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Jdsk
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby Jdsk » 5 Nov 2020, 1:04pm

No idea, and I've already expressed my disappointment.

But if I had to guess it would be because they are already using them for other purposes rather than their having made an explicit decision to use them for this trial.

Jonathan

thirdcrank
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Nov 2020, 1:05pm

I think this is also about showcasing. I don't know what the arrangements are for this test, but I suspect it's more than an evaluation. In a way this may be like a ride on the London Eye or the latest ride at a theme park: the more people have a go and tell everybody what it was like, the more will want to have a go themselves and the quicker may be a more general acceptance of self-driving cars.

Like it or not, this form of transport is coming. IMO the main uncertainties are how the change will be made profitably and how personal transport will be affected.

A point I've made before is that a lot depends on how much this type of vehicle is programmed to emulate human drivers' behaviour, rather than go for total safety.

Jdsk
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby Jdsk » 5 Nov 2020, 1:09pm

thirdcrank wrote:I think this is also about showcasing. I don't know what the arrangements are for this test, but I suspect it's more than an evaluation. In a way this may be like a ride on the London Eye or the latest ride at a theme park: the more people have a go and tell everybody what it was like, the more will want to have a go themselves and the quicker may be a more general acceptance of self-driving cars.

Good point.

thirdcrank wrote:Like it or not, this form of transport is coming. IMO the main uncertainties are how the change will be made profitably and how personal transport will be affected.

Apart from the benefits in safety and access I see this connecting to the general trend away from personal car ownership and as part of the solution to on-street parking.

Jonathan

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Could the non-drivers not take a train?

Postby atlas_shrugged » 5 Nov 2020, 5:45pm

Autonomous motor vehicles do not have any advantages in safety or access. Please look at the video of the uber(?) autonomous car running down and killing a cyclist. Another recent video showed an autonomous racing car taking a right turn and smashing into the side wall.

I do not have any objection to mobility ownership, or even to autonomous travel or transport. The problem with this Oxford trial is they are using dangerous and pollution causing motor vehicles and they are providing no benefit.

Today I rode side by side along a Greenway with a mobility rider with 3 wheels (the front with an electric motor). Because he was quite nippy I struck up a conversation with him. Yes when it is fully charged I can do 19 mph he told me. I am absolutely fine with this. He was causing no pollution or noise and at 19 mph between Cranebridge central station and Trumpington P&R he was probably the fastest traveller with the possible exception of a fresh rainbow trout which I understand can do 23 mph.

The future is Ultra Light Aerodynamic vehicles - Not Ford Mondeos. The future is a short non-stop journey time e.g. the 6 min non-stop train journey. It is pointless having a powerful vehicle capable of over 100mph that just sits in stationary traffic. That is not the future. That is just dumb.