August 25, 2020

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autonomous driving

Hands-free driving to be made legal on British roads by early 2021

Government consulting on the use of Automated Lane Keeping System on Great Britain’s motorways.

driverless carsThe Department for Transport (DfT) has issued a call for evidence on the safe use of Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) on British motorways.

Last year, SHP reported that driverless cars on British roads by 2021 with the Department for Transport (DfT) updating its guidance for testing autonomous vehicles.

ALKS is vehicle technology designed to control the lateral, left and right, and longitudinal, forward and back, movement of the vehicle for an extended period without further driver command. During such times, the system is in primary control of the vehicle, and performs the driving task instead of the driver, at low speeds on motorways.

Hands-free driving

Views are being sought in order to understand if ALKS technology is compliant with the definition of automation under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018. This act requires that the vehicle be capable of safely and lawfully driving itself without being controlled and without needing to be monitored, when in automated mode.

The responses collected in this call for evidence will inform policy development. A public consultation is planned for late 2020 to consult on the detail of any changes to secondary legislation and the Highway Code that are proposed, which will include a summary of responses to this call for evidence.

The responses to this call for evidence will also inform the Law Commissions’ third consultation paper due in late 2020.

Comments should be sent by 27 October 2020; click here for the document.

Back in 2018, a woman in Arizona died after being struck by a self-driving Uber car, which raised questions about the safety of driverless cars. Shortly afterwards, SHP looked into who is to blame when self-driving cars crash.

Within that article, 76% of SHP readers said that they’d rather own a manual car, stating that they would feel unsafe in a driverless car.

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