Government set to legislate for self-driving cars.
Trials of computer-controlled cars are set to get underway in the UK.
November 06, 2014
The Sunday Times has reported the government preparing to legislate on self-driving cars. The person sitting in the drivers seat will still be required to wear a seatbelt, be responsible for speeding fines or penalties - and be ready to take the wheel in a crisis. Graham Parkhurst, the head of one of the four official pilot projects, told the paper: “It is like the laws in the infancy of motoring when a man had to walk in front of a motor vehicle waving a red flag.”
Ministers have previously admitted that the current Highway Code and rules of the road are inadequate for the new generation of vehicles which pilot themselves.
Bristol, Greenwich, Coventry and Milton Keynes will all host autonomous driving projects that will run for between 18 and 36 months starting this year. They will test self-driving cars on real roads as well as lightweight self-driving pods designed for pedestrianised areas in Milton Keynes.
One of the focuses of the trial will be developing infrastructure to best interact with the cars. Finally, experts in Bristol will investigate the insurance implications of driverless vehicles and study the public’s response to the technology.
It is hoped that the data collected will be used to introduce driverless cars in cities and towns to reduce congestion, improve air quality and use roads more efficiently and safely.