A local man has welcomed yesterday’s announcement in the Queen’s Speech that insurance rules are to be simplified in order to encourage ordinary people to operate driverless cars by 2020.
“It is fantastic news,” said Mr Clarkson Testarossa, 47, “not so much the bit about insurance, ‘cos I don’t really bother with that as a rule. But the stuff about everyone having an autonomous car by 2020 is the absolute dog’s.”
Mr Testarossa, who runs a family tyre retread and clocking service from a variety of locations in the area, has spent the last year developing Dalston’s own driverless car.
“Obviously I’ve been impressed by the work Google have done in this field,” he told the Mercury, “and I think we’ve all been inspired by the bold vision of Elon Musk. But when I heard they was going to have driverless cars in Greenwich before here, I did my nut. And the Dalston Motors XR1 is the result.”
When the Mercury suggested that the Dalston Motors XR1 looked exactly like a 1986 Vauxhall Astra with a lump of concrete pressing down on the accelerator, Mr Testarossa threatened to set his dog on us before calming down and saying: “We have used elements from other manufacturers, this is true.”
“Also, we are a few months behind Google on this whole global tracking / steering malarkey. Going round corners isn’t one of our strengths at the moment. Nor is stopping, if I’m honest.”
Mr Testarossa intends to launch his XR1 programme next week on a trial basis along the Kingsland Road.
“Yeah, we chose the Kingsland Road ‘cos it’s nice and straight, you see?” said Mr Testarossa, “I reckon you could absolutely screw the nuts off it all the way from Stamford Hill to Shoreditch High Street without hitting a thing.”
Asked whether the two mattresses gaffer-taped to the front of the XR1 were some kind of braking device, Mr Testarossa changed the subject and said, “Actually, it’s an interesting story, the Kingsland Road. Reason it’s so straight is the Romans built it.”
According to Mr Testarossa, the Kingsland Road was constructed in the 1960s to allow Silvio Berlusconi swift transit from Liverpool Street Station to a well known Bunga Bunga party venue in Stoke Newington Church Street, now a Nandos. But we’re not sure about that.
The first Dalston Motors XR1 public trial will take place next Wednesday about 4.am, if they’ve finished spray-painting over the speed cameras by then. Oyster Cards not accepted.