10 July 2017 Adam Heavens

So whats the story?

I had an accident…

To give you the picture of what happened the traffic lights changed as the person in front got to them and he braked sharply to stop, I had expected the car in front to go through the lights and when he didn’t also braked sharply to stop. However with the damp greasy roads the front drivers side wheel locked up and I slid into him. I was driving a Land Rover Discovery and he had a small family car ending up with a Land Rover sized imprint in the back of his car! Nobody was hurt but it resulted in considerable damage to his car, loss of my no claims and increased insurance premiums.

In case you didn’t know if you go into the back of the person in front of you it is automatically your fault, I can accept that as the person I went into could not have avoided the accident the only person that could of prevented it was me.

I drive anywhere between 15 and 30 thousand miles a year and have been driving for 12 years, this was my first accident and so it got me thinking what could I have done differently to avoid hitting the car?

  • Braked sooner?
  • Been driving slower?
  • Anticipated the drivers action?
  • Read the road conditions better?

Arguably all of them would have been great measures in hindsight, but then I was consumed with an over riding thought

Would a computer do a better job? Could an autonomous vehicle have reacted differently and prevented the accident?

Answering this question laid the foundation for the technology we have developed to create the next generation of autonomous electric vehicles.

I look forward to sharing the details with you in due course