There is more to driving a motor vehicle than two hands on the steering wheel.

The concentration required to get from A to B in one piece is considerable.

Hands free cars seem to me to be a contradiction in terms. If the car does all the driving, why bother sitting in the front at all?

Will it respond automatically to the sudden cry of a baby in trouble?

See the pedestrian several metres away staggering from side to side?

Does it know exactly what the car in front, also driverless is going to do?

Without hands on the wheel, the vehicle is only half manned.

I learned HOW to drive (not just ‘drive’) in a 3 tonne lorry, five days a week, for seven weeks in the WRNS.

By the time we changed down into cars, tilleys (utility vehicles) and limousines, (Admirals only), we knew how to use the roads safely.

We were frequently asked what colour the second car behind us was, where was the next right turn, and what gear we would be in at such and such a point.

We needed to be able to reply while keeping our eyes on the road ahead. Driving mirrors were our friends and rear mirrors the icing on the cake.

We had to know what was going on round us in order to be ready for anything.

The only time we took our hands off the steering wheel was to signal (no automatic in those days, alas), and to change gear. It all sounds very old-fashioned, doesn’t it, but we had very few accidents, large as the lorries were, and old as those poor old tilleys could be.

The point is that new ideas sound great, like smart motorways and hands free cars, but are they really safer than the good old hands on, safety only lanes that have served us for so long.

Progress is useless if it only leads to hospital or the morgue.