Driverless cars could be in complete use on Britain’s roads by 2021, the government declared on Wednesday. The new technology is a step closer after UK ministers proclaimed plans to move forward on advanced trials for driverless vehicles. A statement released by the Department for Transport (DfT) says that the UK is “on track to meet its obligation to have fully automated vehicles on UK roads by 2021.” Under current law, any self-driving vehicle being tested on public roads in the UK must be roadworthy, insured and administered by a driver – whether in the vehicle or by remote-control – who is “ready, able and willing” to resume control at any time.
Currently, the rules around trials necessitate a human remote driver – not certainly inside the vehicle but ready to take over control if needed. Any new test must, however, abide by stringent rules, including informing the authorities and emergency services Companies must also execute risk assessments and publish safety details. The wish to see fully driverless cars on the UK’s road by 2021 comes despite a sequence of fatal crashes in the US. The code covers a series of legal requirements including, passenger and freight services, protection and cyber security, data access, and contingency planning. The Government says this “strengthens the UK’s status as a global leader in the safe and responsible testing of automated vehicles”.
The DfT labelled its announcement as a “major boost” to the UK’s market for connected and self-driving vehicles, which it estimates will be worth £52 billion ($67 billion) by 2035. Those laws, along with a chain of further guidelines, are set out in the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicle’s (CCAV) 2015 Code of Practice for driverless vehicles. The CCAV has now revealed a series of updates to that code, and is developing a new framework for ‘advanced trials’ that could eliminate the need for the safety driver. Paul Newman, Founder of autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica, said, “Self-driving vehicles are already a reality on UK roads. We are currently testing our cars in London, Oxford and other cities across the UK and Europe. With its complex and diverse roads, the UK is the perfect testing ground for this technology. We have had huge success in bringing autonomy to these roads and will continue using the UK as our main location for trials. The government’s updated framework allows us to continue to progress trials and bring forward the opportunity this new technology affords us.”
Emma Minoff has over a decade of experience in a range of industries and domains. She has previously served as the assistant managing editor at his previous company, before joining this publication as an Editor-in-Chief. She brings great vision to the nexus of content and the social, digital, video and pragmatic network. She lives in the California and can be found outdoors when not testing gadgets. Emma pursued her port-graduation from the Stanford University. [email@example.com]