Britain allows self driving on motorways

  • May 10, 2021
  • William Payne

Britain will allow self driving cars on its motorways by the end of this year. Hands-free driving in vehicles with lane-keeping technology will be allowed if the vehicles drive at moderate speeds. The move is seen as a first step to opening up Britain’s motorways to full self driving technology.

The move was announced by the country’s Department for Transport.

Drivers will need to be in the driving seat at all times during the journey.

Following a call for evidence, the department announced that vehicles fitted with Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) technology could legally be defined as self-driving, as long as they receive GB type approval and that there is no evidence to challenge the vehicle’s ability to self-drive.

Britain believes that ALKS, which enables a vehicle to drive itself in a single lane, could improve road safety by reducing human error, which is estimated to contribute to over 85% of accidents on British roads.

The department has also launched a public consultation on how to revise the The Highway Code, the rules that govern driving in the UK, to accommodate self driving technology.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “This is a major step for the safe use of self-driving vehicles in the UK, making future journeys greener, easier and more reliable while also helping the nation to build back better.”

“But we must ensure that this exciting new tech is deployed safely, which is why we are consulting on what the rules to enable this should look like,” said Ms. Maclean.