UK becomes first country to announce regulation of use of self-driving vehicles at slow speeds on motorways

Britain's transport ministry today said that it was working on specific wording to update the country's highway code for the safe use of self-driving vehicle systems.

The UK has become the first country to announce regulation of the use of self-driving vehicles at slow speeds on motorways.

Britain’s transport ministry today said that it was working on specific wording to update the country’s highway code for the safe use of self-driving vehicle systems. It added that the ministry will start with Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) – which use sensors and software to keep cars within a lane, allowing them to accelerate and brake without driver input.

According to the government, the use of ALKS would be restricted to motorways, at speeds under 60 km per hour. The UK government wants to be at the forefront of rolling out autonomous driving technology and the transport ministry forecasts by 2035 around 40% of new UK cars could have self-driving capabilities, creating up to 38,000 new skilled jobs.

However, the dangers of drivers apparently misunderstanding the limits of technology has been an issue in the United States, where regulators are reviewing about 20 crashes involving Tesla’s driver assistance tools, such as its ‘Autopilot’ system.

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