As the future of transportation, one can envisage fully Autonomous Vehicles (AV), on-demand moving people from place to place, guided by infallible technology imperceptible to the society. From a purely technical standpoint, the AV concept is a reality; all required technologies are available and the major deficiencies of Machine Vision (MV) are expected to be removed within the next few years. Nevertheless, the best current technology provides approximately 99.99% correctness, while for fully autonomously-driving cars demanded is a reliability exceeding 99.99999%, which is proven by the few accidents involving AV. In addition, with introduction of the first experimental AV, a plethora of ethical issues surfaced, which must be resolved before their really broad introduction. Policy change must be implemented, not only to permit driverless vehicles on the road, but also to regulate their presence amongst regular cars and the use of infrastructure. However, until vehicles based on fully AV technology become standard, human drivers would always have to be involved, which necessitates the presence of infrastructure readable by both humans and machines. Horizontal road markings belong to such critical road components, which at present cannot be replaced by any other means. While the current modern vehicles are equipped with assistance systems that can support the drivers in keeping them in the travel path, human vision and decisions remain critical, particularly in places where the machines may fail due to insufficient data. In the foreseeable future, the driver shall have to sit behind the wheel and occasionally take the vehicle steering in own hands. Hence, maintaining high quality of the existing infrastructure, including horizontal road markings is and shall remain of utmost importance.
Papers Presented at the 2018 37th Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2018 Pretoria, South Africa. Theme "Towards a desired transport future: safe, sufficient and affordable".