The demise of Lenny’s train set is close

Driverless technology is advancing quickly…certainly far quicker than rail technology ever will.

Rail transport has an inherent flaw in it…it rides on rails and they are fixed in place. Roads provide detours and work arounds, now if we could just fix the inherent flaw in driving…the driver.

They are a familiar sight on roads across the country, but the white van man may no longer be seen carrying out deliveries in Britain after the government announced plans to try driverless vans.

As part of a multi-million pound scheme being trialled next year, driverless delivery vans will be used to move parcels between either warehouses and shops or stores and homes in south east London.

While there will be no driver in the vehicles, an operator will sit within the van – which could be as big as a classic Mercedes Sprinter – to ensure the operation runs smoothly and to take control in the case of an emergency.

The scheme will be rolled out across a pre-determined route in Greenwich, London, next year, with the route possibly taking in a large Sainsbury’s distribution depot, a Tesco store and the O2 arena.   

The trial will determine whether driverless vans can help companies move to 24/7 deliveries, which could theoretically allow for more journeys if they can be completed quicker away from rush hour.

If it is a success, there is a possibility the scheme could be widened to include driverless HGV lorries moving parcels from warehouses, before driverless delivery vans deliver to shops. Smaller vehicles – travelling at 4mph – could then deliver the goods and parcels to residential homes.

Dr Nick Reed, of the Transport Research Laboratory which is leading the project, told the Sunday Times: ‘It’s about demonstrating the concept and then thinking about how that changes the business model for logistics and deliveries. It means you can do things around the clock.’

Driverless technology seems to be the way of the future, not rail transport constrained by rail corridors.

Imagine a city with a fleet of available driverless transport options, from minivans, to buses, to a taxi fleet…all travelling along controlled by computers with reaction times much faster than that of humans.

I think this would be a better use of several billion dollars than a dopey rail loop.


– The Daily Mail

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.