Fully Driverless Cars To Be On UK Roads By End Of The Year

Thu 7th Feb 2019

The Government has announced plans to introduce fully driverless cars to the UK roads in 2019.

Under current law, autonomous vehicles being tested on the UK road network must be supervised by a driver, either in the vehicle, or by remote control and that driver must be able to resume control of the vehicle at any time.

But with the Government keen to push the envelope on automated driving technology, the prospect of advanced trials is now very near with the Department of Transport publishing updated guidance on automated vehicle trialling.

The new advice says: ‘The Government is aware of the growing desire to conduct more advanced trials on public roads. Such trials may currently be outside of the law and may require support and facilitation from the Department for Transport to proceed. As a result, the Department’s motoring agencies will develop and operate a process to support advanced trials on public roads.’

All vehicles and trials must undergo rigorous safety assessments before being allowed to proceed, but the news will be a boost to the industry, keen to further develop the technology.

Automotive minister Richard Harrington said: “We need to ensure we take the public with us as we move towards having self-driving cars on our roads by 2021. The update to the code of practice will provide clearer guidance to those looking to carry out trials on public roads.”