Driverless vehicles could end the need for traffic police

A senior academic in America has written a paper arguing that the introduction of driverless vehicles onto the world’s roads could mean there is no more need for human enforcement.

Clifford Winston, a Senior Fellow at Searle Freedom Trust argues that autonomous vehicles could virtually eliminate the need to use police resources to enforce traffic safety laws and more officers could concentrate on reducing the most serious criminal activity.

“The reason is that autonomous vehicles obey the speed limit, do not drive erratically, reach a valid final destination, and prevent their occupants from jeopardising highway safety even if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” he writes.

He adds that because of this, there would be less need for Police to pull over vehicles and potentially get into confrontations with passengers which can lead to issues around racism. He adds that driverless vehicles would have been very useful during the Covid-19 crisis.

“It is federal policymakers who have dragged their feet in passing important legislation to jumpstart the testing that is essential to the formal autonomous vehicle adoption process; in guiding state and local officials to plan investments to upgrade infrastructure technology so autonomous vehicles can use roads safely; and in reforming inefficient highway pricing and investment policies that have compromised travel in non-autonomous vehicles for decades,” he continues.

“Given the extraordinary range of potential social benefits, including better use of police resources, far fewer traffic-related confrontations and accidents, and a more efficient economy, policymakers should be doing everything they can to expedite adoption of a life-changing innovation that the nation desperately needs during these troubled times.”


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