Consultation launched into driverless technology15 July 2016
The government is asking the public to have their say on the arrival of driverless cars in the UK
Drivers across the UK are being invited to voice their opinions during a nine-week government consultation launched this month, to prepare the UK for the arrival of autonomous vehicles.
The Department for Transport (DfT), who launched the consultation, has already proposed a number of changes to current driving legislation, such as amending motor insurance rules so that automated vehicles can be used on British roads.
In light of the proposed arrival of autonomous vehicles, the government is also proposing changes to the Highway Code, as vehicles using remote control parking would be breaching a rule stating motorists should drive with both hands where possible.
Companies such as Google, Nissan and Audi are currently developing fully automated cars, which aren’t expected to be on sale in the UK for at least a decade. However, advanced driver assists, such as remote controlled parking, are likely to be available as soon as 2018.
In 2015, the Transport Committee called on the government to introduce a robust road strategy in preparation for the rapidly changing nature of British roads.
Ann-Marie Christie, a personal injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Britain has some of the safest roads in Europe, but our work with victims of road traffic accidents suggests that the current road strategy leaves British motorists vulnerable, let alone in a decade’s time when driverless vehicles are present on our roads.
“The government – which is already looking into driverless HGV platoons - needs to be certain that changes to legislation and infrastructure to accommodate these new vehicles does not cause a decline in driving standards.
“Consulting now is appropriate, but a transparent discussion about the advantages and risks is crucial so that well in advance of the arrival of autonomous vehicles, appropriate measures can be taken to ensure British roads are safe for all motorists.”
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