Episode #179 – Driverless cars won’t hit cyclists because driverless cars won’t happen

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The Spokesmen Cycling Roundtable Podcast

Episode 179

Wednesday 24th January 2018

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUEST: Transport writer Christian Wolmar


TOPIC: Driverless cars and why cyclists won’t stop them in their tracks because the suppose “transport revolution” won’t happen. Conversation based around Christian Wolmar’s new book, “Driverless Cars: On A Road to Nowhere.”



  1. Jeremy
    January 29, 2018

    Fellow cyclist and electrical/automation engineer by trade. Just as the automobile would never replace the horse drawn carriage, the autonomous car will never replace the automobile as we know it. Like it or not (I still have mixed feelings on the autonomous car), technology will not wait for us to agree on whether we should or shouldn’t move forward. Adapt or fall to the wayside like a horse draw carriage driver.

  2. Neil simpson
    January 31, 2018

    I was looking forward to this but was disappointed by the guest.
    He came across as angry man on the radio rather than someone who was informed.
    I don’t pretend to be an expert either but I have spent my career in the car industry and more recently design bicycles, trains, planes etc so I’m exposed to these issues by people who do know.
    It was easy to pick apart each of his gripes.
    Another thought approach is to imagine we already have autonomous cars. Even excepting all the problems your guest suggested, would you think itva good idea to replace them all with real people (and the 1.25 million deaths associated)?
    Thanks for the shows

  3. January 31, 2018

    Hey, Neil, don’t leave us hanging, feel free to pick apart the gripes in the comments section, even if just in short.

  4. Neil simpson
    January 31, 2018

    Hi Carlton. I’ve heard you speak before in the subject, and you’ve made interesting and pertinent remarks , especially where cyclists are concerned.
    Your guests comments seemed uniformed, though I think it’s useful to look at it from a human, rather than purely technical angle. I appreciated that.
    The idea that you’d be open to mugging seemed like scare mongering. Would you run over someone stepping out in front if your car? It’s no different. We have no idea whether autonomous vehicles could deal with the Holburn situation but either they could (and why not?) but in this case the driver takes the wheel. There are few vehicles that will be steering wheel less.
    There is a challenge in mixing autonomous with current vehicles, and the public will never accept deaths arising but I can’t see it being worse than today.
    Keep up the good work. I appreciate your reply.

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