A great article in Slate about the price of heavier cars in terms of road safety. As a long term driver of small, lightweight vehicles, it makes disturbing reading, even before one considers the environmental damage associated with 2T four wheel drives.
I think that the idea the author proposes of increasing fuel duty to account for the additional health costs makes perfect sense. I fail to understand why in the UK we feel the need to pay for a vehicle licensing body like the DVLA (at the cost of 100's of millions of pounds) to (ineffectively) police road tax, when we could save a huge amount of money and gaurantee compliance by putting additional fees on fuel. Oh, and it would actually target those who pollute the most.
Anyway, back on road safety, I remain really excited by the potential of self-driving in this area, even if it is only allowed on major trunk roads. British roads are quite safe but if one death can be avoided by mass adoption radar cruise control, brake assist and increased vehicle intelligence, then in my mind its worth legislating to make them compulsory. The advantage of smoother driving will also be realised in fewer traffic jams (human beings are terrible at maintaining distance) and therefore increased fuel efficiency. Seems like a more important area for legislation than insisting that everyone has DAB in car.