Any motorist who has had another car pull out in front of him or her will know about the split-second decisions needed to avoid an accident.
But now a team of British engineers wants to take such choices out of drivers’ hands. They are developing a “crash proof” car that takes control if it senses danger.
The engineers, working with DaimlerChrysler, have created a system that can sense when a car has pulled out at a junction or when traffic ahead has stopped suddenly.
The developers claim that the computer-controlled car will react faster than motorists and perform the manoeuvres needed in emergencies far better.
But some motorists will find the idea of a computer grabbing control difficult to accept, and even dangerous, while road safety groups fear that such systems may be unable to react adequately.
Geraint Bevan, who is working on the system at Glasgow University’s Centre for Systems and Control, insists that a computer can control a car far better than the average motorist.