Self-driving cars could be allowed on UK motorways by the end of this year.
The Transportation Department has said it will allow hands-free driving in vehicles with lane-keeping technology on low-traffic highways, at speeds of up to 37 mph.
The technology monitors speed and keeps the car a safe distance from other cars, normally through the use of cameras and sensors.
If a risk of collision is detected, the vehicle may brake or change direction.
This means that the driver does not have to control the vehicle but must be available to do so if necessary.
The DfT said human error contributed to more than 85% of crashes, so technology could make roads safer.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “This is a major milestone for the safe use of autonomous vehicles in the UK, making future travel greener, easier and more reliable while helping the countries to rebuild better.
“But we need to make sure this exciting new technology is deployed safely, which is why we are consulting on what the rules should look like to allow this.
“In doing so, we can improve transport for all, securing the UK’s place as a global science superpower.”
Jim Holder, editorial director of What Car? Magazine and website, said the new policy was a “sensible first step” towards autonomous driving.
“These are very, very controlled circumstances, low speed, relatively straight roads, clear road markings.”
Mike Hawes, Managing Director of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “These advancements will unleash Britain’s potential to be a world leader in the development and use of these technologies, creating vital jobs throughout by ensuring that our roads remain among the safest in the world. planet. “
Others, however, were more cautious.
Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said: “There is a risk of situations where drivers rely too much on the automated system, expecting it to handle events for which it is neither intended nor intended. able.
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This notice was published: 2021-04-28 02:20:00