'Pre-crashed aesthetic': The internet responds to the design of a driverless bus

Virgin Radio

28 May 2021, 15:22

The UK's first driverless bus trial has hit the streets of Cambridge and already it's taken a bus bashing. The sci-fi-esque vehicle has been mocked by people on social media quicker than you can say 'all aboard'. The 24/7 autonomous shuttle - which was delayed for two years due to the pandemic - will travel around the University of Cambridge’s West Cambridge campus alongside other vehicles and hasn't gone down well with the public.

One Facebook user wrote: "In a city centre of cyclists who pay no attentions to rules of the road, maybe an accident waiting to happen."

Another shared: "Accident waiting to happen this is..."

A third posted: "Give it half an hour before crashes into the Lycra brigade cyclists."

Another commented: "More gridlock, money wasted, accident waiting to happen."

The negativity continued with: "What is the point of a driverless bus? Are we short of bus drivers? Of unemployed people who might like an opportunity to train as a bus driver?"

And: "It will be a hell of a lot safer than human drivers, that's for sure. Around 25,000 are killed or injured every year in the UK by human drivers..."

The bashing continued: "Whoever is funding these ridiculous pipedreams needs to be stopped. It will never be safe. Ever," and: "It looks like someone screwed up the plans, and someone retrieved them from the bin and built it!"

One person mocked: "Flag or no flag... That's one of the most ridiculous looking thing I've ever seen."

Others agreed: "It drove into a Spice Girl's bum!" and: "Ah, driverless vehicles. A solution we can't solve for decades if ever to a problem that doesn't exist."

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean told Cambridgeshire Live: "Self-driving vehicles present a number of opportunities for the UK from providing safer, greener and more reliable transport services to creating tens of thousands of well-paid and skilled jobs across the nation.

"This project is hugely exciting and is an example of how self-driving vehicles could make it easier for people to travel on the UK’s future public transport network."

Claire Ruskin, director of Cambridge Network and the business representative on the GCP executive board, said: “It is very exciting to see these vehicles working on real roads here as another first in Cambridge.

“These shuttles can be used on demand all day and night, every day of the year - which is unaffordable with our existing public transport.

“They are flexible and make good use of resources without needing much infrastructure.

“As employment around Cambridge is 24/7 for many organisations - including our hospitals, emergency services, and many of our labs - we have been anticipating this new technology to see how real operation will help people get around.


Credit: Getty

“This trial is part of wider plans by the Greater Cambridge Partnership to help the area work sustainably as it continues to deliver world-leading innovation for the UK.”

Dr Nik Johnson, mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “This trial is a great example of the type of innovative, clean transport solution that I look forward to working closely with the GCP on."

He added: “I look forward to seeing how this trial develops and what learnings we can take forward for the delivery of a modern, timely, and relevant transport solution for the rest of Greater Cambridgeshire.”