Changes to The Highway Code will help ensure the first wave of self-driving vehicles are used safely on UK roads.
Drivers will be able to experience the full benefits of the first self-driving vehicles when they arrive, as government sets out how they should be driven safely on UK roads.
The government has today (20 April 2022) confirmed planned changes to The Highway Code, responding to public consultation, continuing to pave the way for safer, more efficient travel.
The changes to the code will help ensure the first wave of technology will be used safely, explaining clearly that while travelling in self-driving mode, motorists must be ready to resume control in a timely way if they are prompted to – such as when they approach motorway exits.
The plans also include a change to current regulation, allowing drivers to view content that is not related to driving on built-in display screens, while the self-driving vehicle is in control. It will, however, still be illegal to use mobile phones in self-driving mode, given the greater risk they pose in distracting drivers as shown in research.
This is a major milestone in our safe introduction of self-driving vehicles, which will revolutionize the way we travel, making our future journeys greener, safer and more reliable.” Said, Transport Minister Trudy Harrison
With self-driving technology rapidly developing across the globe, Britain’s first vehicles approved for self-driving could be ready for use later this year. Vehicles will undergo rigorous testing and only be approved as self-driving when they have met stringent standards.
The government is continuing to develop a full legal framework for self-driving vehicles to enable the safer and greener movement of people and goods in the UK. The Department for Transport will also work with industry, regulators and safety organizations to ensure drivers can access information, including online, to help them use their vehicles safely.
The development of self-driving vehicles could create around 38,000 new, high-skilled jobs within Britain’s industry that would be worth £41.7 billion by 2035. The self-driving vehicles will be designed for use on a motorway in slow traffic, ALKS enables a vehicle to drive itself in a single lane, up to 37 mph, while maintaining the ability to return control easily and safely to the driver when required.
Additional information can be found here.