July Rule For Self-Driving Cars

Tue 12th Jul 2022

The Highway Code made one of the most significant changes in its history this month, one which is expected to change the face of motoring forever, but unfortunately there isn’t a motorist who can take advantage of it.

Those who own a self-driving car are now allowed to watch videos while behind the wheel of a car in the new section added to the Highway Code, however the list of cars currently able to be classified as self-driving by the government is currently zero.

There are five levels for self-driving cars in the UK, with many on the roads operating at Level 2, known as Partial Automation, however the new rules allow for Level 3 Conditional Automation, which allows drivers to disengage from the act of driving, but only specific situations. The new Highway Code laws allow for this, but there isn’t a car on the market with the technology.

 "The changes to the code will help ensure the new 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,” said a Department for Transport spokesperson.

It also includes details about appropriate insurance needed for self-driving cars.

"The plans also include a change to current regulation, allowing drivers to view content which 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.

"The government is working with the manufacturer, retailer and leasing industries to ensure that anyone accessing a self-driving vehicle will receive advice on how to use it."

Many cars on the roads now include technology which can warn drivers or slow a vehicle down to avoid danger, known as advanced driver assistance technology.