Op-ed: In the spring of 2016 driverless lorries which had been undergoing viability tests in the UK were reportedly almost at the go-live trial stage.
In 2014 the Daily Mail reported "Automated 'road trains' of lorries controlled by just one driver are coming to Britain next year."
Testing continued but they were not trialled on UK roads; plans to do so in 2016 looked set to bring the reality of driverless vehicles another step closer.
March 16, UK Chancellor George Osborne included an announcement relating to driverless lorries in his spring budget statement. Osborne decided investing in the driverless lorry technology could help to cut road congestion and speed up deliveries; an added bonus for some is they use less fuel and cut the workforce.
"The Times reported trials would take place on the M6 in Cumbria later in 2016, with vehicles in convoy headed by a driver in the leading lorry. The tests would take place on a quiet stretch of the motorway, it said."
But June 23 a majority of voters opted for the country to quit the European Union and everything was up for grabs.
First blood was Cameron who quit as PM, resigning as an MP later. George Osborne was sacked by new Tory leader Theresa May.
As always for anything with potential negatives or hazards the North of England had already been selected to be a testing ground for driverless lorries.
Edmund King, the president of the AA was quick to cast doubts on the viability of driverless lorries operating efficiently and effectively on the British motorway system.
He drew attention to the differences between British roads and those in Germany where the technology is up and running and he remains sceptical about its use in the UK.
The driverless lorries would allegedly operate in a convoy with one person in the lead vehicle. The other vehicles would have technology fitted that is designed to prevent them blocking roads or crashing into other vehicles.
But as we all know technology is a wonderful thing when it works and works correctly.
If you have sat looking into a blank screen when your computer hits a glitch you will know what I mean.
So will driverless lorries actually make British roads safer? Or more to the point are driverless lorries any nearer reality in 2017?
Like it or lump it the day of automatons replacing staff is almost here.
Unmanned tills in supermarkets, banks closing to be replaced by hole in the wall cash machines; technology working in some warehouses and machines pretty much manufacturing cars is already reality in Britain.
How fast that reality extends and develops further is in part down to governments; because in the UK the current British government wants employees to work into greater old age but doing just what we wonder?
Some countries are already looking into a universal income for citizens.
Driverless lorry trials on UK roads ultimately stalled and by November 2016 there were reports that manufacturers were pulling out and that none of the big European truckmakers had signed up. Was that due to the BRexit vote?
So what happened to driverless lorries and the budget money earmarked for that project?
Note: The company behind the driverless lorries destined for the UK was Daimler. Daimler AG a German multinational automotive corporation. Daimler AG is headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
A basic income may help cut red tape and administration costs but there are negatives-https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/03/finland-trials-basic-income-for-unemployed
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