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Transportation United Kingdom Robotics Technology

Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now 84

An anonymous reader writes The office of the Mayor of London went into a bit of a panic this week after their own paper suggested that driverless buses could appear on the streets of the UK's capital at some point in the next four decades. The Mayor's office went so far as to suggest that they were really talking about driverless underground trains. Even more bizarre was the reaction of the city's taxi drivers' association — whose spokesperson claimed that the failure to deliver 'simple' software tasks such as speech recognition meant there was no chance of driverless buses appearing on London's streets.
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Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now

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  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @05:55AM (#47587949)

    When I was younger, I worked on speech recogntion problems - well, expert systems and neural networks in general. It was the toughest nut our team had ever been tasked to crack, and we didn't crack it.

    When the man on the street perceives speech recognition to be simple - and coming from a taxi driver, that's more than a little ironic, considering they're essentially human Traveler Salesman Problem solvers - you know technology has overtaken you beyond hope.

    Me, I can't stop being complete blown away by what can be achieved today. Driverless cars are almost a reality everybody can buy, yet I still vividly remember MIT experimental self-driving trucks trying to hold a straight line on a closed circuit at 1 mph!

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @05:58AM (#47587959)

    There have been a number of drivers' strikes that I'm sure make them unpopular. No doubt management would leap at the chance to be rid of them. The hard part will be keeping the union from finding out too soon and taking preemptive protest action against redundencies.

  • How many drivers? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrL0G1C ( 867445 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @06:07AM (#47587973) Journal

    Tried googling, couldn't find anything much other than job adverts.

    How many professional drivers are there in the UK or US? Including bus, taxi, cab, private mini bus, postal, delivery and haulage? My guess would be 500,000 to a 1,000,000 in the UK alone.

    That's a lot of jobs that could be lost to autonomous driving.

Keep up the good work! But please don't ask me to help.