February 13, 2016

An institution for mechanical engineers is calling for human beings to be phased out – on health and safety grounds.

Institution spokesperson Philippa Old Ham notes that 95% of motor accidents are caused by human error. This madness, she says, cannot be allowed to continue.

Cars, roads, signage, mechanical issues and weather conditions, in other words, are not to be blamed, when, all along, the vast majority of on-road accidents have been caused by the pernicious influence of good old fashioned human intervention.

Humans are simply not to be trusted with operating complex machinery like motor vehicles, Pippi insists. Instead, the Institution is calling on Government “to urgently resolve legislative, technological and insurance issues to help encourage the rollout of autonomous or driverless vehicles.”

Phasing out the human factor in vehicle operation will benefit the UK economy by up to £51 billion a year, she predicts, as robocars put an end to accidents, repair/replacement and personal injury costs, delays, disruption and impaired productivity, personal motor insurance premiums, and unnecessary jobs within organisations such as vehicle repair and hire firms, solicitors offices, insurance providers, traffic police, the emergency services, the AA, RAC, Green Flab etc etc.

HMG needs to get with the plan, the Institution of Mechanics and Engineers says, and get on with the vital task of making Britain’s roads fit for robots. Signage and road markings must be standardised and reconfigured to make them easier for machines to read. Vehicle manufacturers and dealers need to explain how they plan to “provide the greater level of after-sales care, technical updates and upgrades that will be required to ensure the safe introduction of these vehicles”.

Whilst, inevitably, it won’t be possible to stamp out human driving altogether for some time to come, the Institution concedes, we need “industry and academia to redouble efforts to look at how we phase out human involvement in driving vehicles.”

How our sentient machine successors will chuckle, 30 years from now, watching 2D klipklaps of old Top Gear shows and car crash sgwz, and wondering how stupid old humans were ever allowed to drive in the first place!

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