UK Government Reviews Law on Self-Driving Cars
The government is set to review the law before self-driving cars start hitting the UK roads. They impose a three-year review to test the efficiency of these smart cars not only in navigating the roads but also to better determine whether they’re entitled to any criminal offense.
Who is Responsible for Driverless Cars?
Chancellor Philip Hammond was the first to propose the production of self-driving cars in the United Kingdom. He even provided a timetable indicating when the British citizens should start using their driverless cars. According to him, driverless cars should hit the road by 2021, exactly three years from now as it goes under strict review. The Scottish Law Commission and Commission of England and Wales will be the ones to lead the review panel hoping to draft new laws and reforms that will cater the possible issues.
Some of them are the following:
1- the presumption of human responsibility for the said autonomous vehicl
2- the allocation of criminal and civil responsibility in cases when the driverless car gets involved in a road accident.
3- the role these automated vehicles will take in UK’s mass transportation system.
4- car-sharing and passenger services like Uber, among others.
5- the impact of these driverless cars to other road users.
Road Minister Jesse Norman stated that as the country’s driving technology continues to evolve, the existing rules and regulations in the country should also keep up so that the UK can retain its title as the world’s pioneer when it comes to driving technology.
Meanwhile, law commissioner Nicholas Paines was more interested in road and safety maintenance. He emphasized that UK roads were among the safest in the world and the production of driverless cars has the potential to make UK roads even safer to travel on. These autonomous cars have auto-configuration features such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles while driving, maintaining a constant speed, ability to drive in hostile environments and withstand driving in rough roads that can help eliminate the human errors that often lead to road accidents.
The British Treasury-backed Chancellor Hammond’s proposal and funded over 22 million British pounds on industrial sectors to invest in technological innovation. The government stated that they want to put the country at the forefront of mobile innovation as a means of coping and surviving the impending effects of Brexit. They believe that these driverless cars will help stabilize the British’ economy. The said funds were allocated in the following projects.
1- Research and Development for the driverless vehicles
2- Production of technological tools on and off the UK roads.
3- Production of environment-friendly vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and help fight against climate change.
The government also collaborated with the industrial sectors to realize this ambitious project. Last year, the CEO of TRL, Rob Wallis, invited the government to review their project named GATEway driverless car.
They unveiled the first ever autonomous shuttle pod that ferries people either to a cycle path or short pedestrian in Greenwich. While the law review is still ongoing, CEO Rob Wallis stated that they’re currently in the final phase of testing these autonomous shuttle pods. Together, they aim to provide shuttle services across the Greenwich peninsula.
The Future of Mobility in the UK
The UK government is positive that after the final testing of autonomous vehicles rolls out and its implementing laws are finalized, it can help boost the country’s long-term economy and security. They envisioned how the cabbies, truckers, and private for-hire vehicle drivers will upgrade their careers in order to pilot these driverless cars.
Furthermore, they will explore more opportunities in order to improve the drive efficiency system of the country, enabling its people to move along the United Kingdom with ease. They believe that this project will help improve customer’s commuting experience to beat its European conservative rivals when it comes to mobility and road infrastructure.
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