People will be allowed to watch TV in self-driving cars, the Government has confirmed. It’s all part of efforts to clarify the rules on self-driving vehicles in UK. driverless car uk
The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed today it will be making the move to update the Highway Code to allow the act of watching TV while in a self-driving car. This change comes despite the Government not allowing any self-driving vehicles on the UK’s roads at present.
However, the first is thought to be given the go ahead later this year, with the DfT saying the changes to the Highway Code are needed as a result. There will be a series of changes that make clear users will not be responsible for accidents if a self-driving car crashes.
The update to the Code will also make it clear that motorists must be ready to take back control of vehicles when needed. However, the new rules are not as freeing as some might think – though you’ll be able to watch TV in the driver’s seat, it will still be illegal to use a phone behind the wheel of a self-driving car.
Transport minister Trudy Harrison believed updating the Highway Code would be a “major milestone in our safe introduction of self-driving vehicles”. She claimed it would be a move that will “revolutionise the way we travel, making our future journeys greener, safer and more reliable”.
“This exciting technology is developing at pace right here in Great Britain and we’re ensuring we have strong foundations in place for drivers when it takes to our roads. In doing so, we can help improve travel for all while boosting economic growth across the nation and securing Britain’s place as a global science superpower,” she added.
If self-driving vehicles become the norm, their development is seen as something that could create around 38,000 new jobs in Britain. According to the DfT, that potential could be worth £41.7 billion to the economy by the year 2035.
Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, believed the new measures were part of a long transition process for self-driving cars in the UK. He said driverless cars could “promise a future where death and injury on our roads are cut significantly” but that drivers would retain “much of the responsibility for what happens” for now.
He added that informing the public of the rules surrounding driverless cars was vital. He believed this was down to the car makers themselves.
“Vehicle manufacturers and sellers will have a vital role to play in ensuring their customers fully appreciate the capabilities of the cars they buy and the rules that govern them,” he said.
According to the DfT, the development of self-driving vehicles should create around 38,000 new jobs in Britain and is expected to be worth £41.7bn to the economy by 2035. driverless car uk