Damian James' Blog: 19 October 2009 - Drivers, surplus to requirement
19 October 2009
There are rumblings about road pricing out in 'Fleetland' again as a result of a paper called Meeting Carbon Budgets.
This is a progress report from the Parliament Committee on Climate Change which suggests that it would make environmental sense to introduce road pricing as a way of reducing road related emissions.
I never really thought that road pricing was ever off the agenda but lets face it for any political party it's not a vote winner. Maybe it's a case of if the idea is always 'out there' then, potentially, the driving population will eventually get used to it.
Anyway the report does make interesting reading.
In reality road pricing is still a way away and can't realistically be on the table for at least five years.
This is because by 2014 the EU intends to have legislation in place to force manufacturers to install black boxes in all new vehicles in order to introduce e-call (the emergency system). This black box will be the platform for all future technology services such as road and insurance charging.
Nearing 2020 the goal is to have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) working off the same box which will take control of our vehicles if its computers know you are going to crash. This is the ultimate challenge for GPS / Galileo technology before we get to vehicles that don't require any human input anymore.
Personally I think that road pricing is going to happen as it will be a natural extension to utilising existing technology that we will be having in vehicles anyway. Having said that technology moves at such a fast pace who knows what we will have as standard equipment in our vehicles in five years time. One thing is guaranteed for the future though and that is the extinction of us drivers.
We are after all just too human!