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 Future 4

'Not me . . .' said my neighbor spontaneously when I talked to him about automated driving. 'No, I want to steer the car myself'. There you have it. The industry is developing and struggling and the buyer doesn't want that at all. In fact, the further conversation brought the conclusion that perhaps one could get a little help on long journeys.

Is that level 2 or 3, at least not level 5. Again these fantasists who want to see an extra motorway lane set up. Apart from the costs and availability, where should this lane be, on the right near the hard shoulder or even on the left beyond the fastest? Do you have to stay there or how could you overtake?

So there would probably be a standard speed there, too low for some, but, as the time calculation in the previous chapter shows, faster overall. Brave new times where the advantages of this system are not recognized. But how is the track protected from the others?

Imagine the solution on the right side. Then you either drive as slowly as the slowest truck or overtake it on the right. And then probably get out of the sleep track at pre-marked places. Even worse on the left, slower than the faster ones, who are now overtaking themselves on the right. Or give up the entire system of driving on the right, like in America?

Sleepyheads on lanes that don't give way. Or a speed limit, gradually increasing of course so that no one can officially protest. You know what, that's another poorly thought out suggestion. In any case, it is questionable whether we will ever drive fully automated, with cars that do not have a steering wheel.

Nice dream, car takes children to school. Have you ever experienced the crowding and associated dangers in front of a school in the morning? Two autonomous vehicles meet. Neither can move forward. Result: You are still standing in the afternoon and can take the children with them.

The lane reserved only for self-driving vehicles has an opportunity, which also represents a one-way street. And still needs monitoring. It is usually faster or more continuous than the others. But no one wants to have to trundle after a robotaxi when there is no traffic jam. Nobody actually wants to be bossed around in any way. Apparently only 10 percent use their level 2. Because who is so stressed? No, one would happily drive yourself if only there weren't stupid traffic jams.

So we need sophisticated systems to avoid traffic jams. This has something to do with automated driving, but differently than the manufacturers imagine. Networking could also help a lot, for example by suggesting reduced speeds. Because it's no joy to be driving towards a traffic jam at 160 km/h or more, not to mention the possible risk of an accident.

Traffic jams have three main causes: accidents, construction sites and erratic driving. For the first, we suggest a kind of accident recorder in the car, perhaps switching itself off in the event of an accident and only storing the last half hour. Something like this can't be expensive, but it would offer the possibility of recording accidents, for example from uninvolved vehicles too. The result, provided no one is seriously injured: immediate clearing out of the scene of the accident.

No, don't wait for the police to arrive. Training potential drivers, as is done for emergency treatment of patients. Of course, the starter would have to be able to be activated again without pressing the clutch, so that you can get off the road if necessary.

Yes, I know, scrap cars on the hard shoulder in busy traffic are not hazard-free either. But at least there could also be a broken car there. And if we already have so many toll and speed-regulating bridges, these could be set to 80 km/h almost automatically. Then the highway obviously has the highest throughput anyway.

No, the scrap can only be picked up during certain rest times anyway, with the exception of the people involved, of course. But the result would also be fewer gawkers on the other side. The Germans are too thorough. You always want to have everything swept clean without thinking about the consequences of an accident that might happen in a traffic jam.

The second and third causes can be summarized. Too many vehicles brake when entering the construction site. Plus, too many more are being brought in too quickly. What we urgently need is networking between vehicles and some kind of car WLAN, not a large and expensive solution based on SIM cards.

Together with the traffic control using gantries, the vehicles would have to be brought in slowly so that no traffic jams arise. At the same time, we need software that, together with the vehicle sensors, draws attention to excessive braking. Psychology would also have to be involved here. There should even be research into which systems would be successful in avoiding traffic jams. Maybe one could work on the problem of wrong-way drivers at the same time.

Do you know the story of the businessman who spent a lot of time tidying up and cleaning his storage rooms and the customers were walking out the front of the store? The businessman still exists today, but the shop is no longer there. Manufacturers are working on customer loyalty, but at the same time are failing to connect vehicles from different brands cost-effectively.

Another useless discussion: introduction of a speed limit of 130 km/h on motorways. Firstly, it happens gradually anyway, as described above, and secondly, the motorway is by no means a hotspot for accidents. But certain emotionally people never tire of explaining that every single death justifies some kind of rules. At first glance, an unbeatable argument.

Consequence: to ban driving completely and of course flying too. It's best to only use it for important errands such as school, work and urgent shopping. Of course you have to weigh things up and every traffic fatality and injury is one too many. But you still shouldn't lose sight of the facts.

What do you think of the country roads? Not only are they a hotspot for accidents, but they are generally only used for a relatively short time to get to the nearest motorway. Nevertheless, 100 km/h is permitted, mind you in both directions. No, no one has probably ever knowingly seen a crash at 200 km/h. Certainly not witnessed, or a guardian angel had a hand in it.

Why do we humans keep dealing with the wrong problems? Of course it would be nice if everyone, including those without a driving license, could move themselves automotive mobile without outside help, but then we would have to check first whether we can actually afford the implementation and also the costs of maintaining the system, e.g. constant monitoring.

And we should slowly stop throwing sand in people's eyes. The effect is actually more fear of the future than trust. It would be much better to prepare the planning more carefully and limit it to a reasonable and manageable level. It is incomprehensible that the industry does this to a large extent in production, for example, but when it comes to developing vehicles, it completely overshoots the mark probably for marketing reasons.

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