Following the debut of Google’s driverless car a few weeks ago, the UK’s Science Minister has said that Britain needs to consider how Britain’s Highway code will accommodate the changes in driving technology.
Mr Willets reported he has already discussed the progress of the car in the US with the Department of Transport. He also said that work is being carried out at Oxford University for the UK’s own version of the driverless car, adding:
“We need to work on these type of regulations so that as the technology develops in Oxford.” He continued: “But whereas the Google car, they have notched up more miles, so we have got to ensure that the British has its own opportunity to get tested in a wider range of environments and that’s what we are working on with the department for transport.”
The UN Road Traffic Convention 1968 has recently changed to accommodate future changes in driving technology by allowing for the use of cars that can control themselves if there is an overriding switch button available for use by the ‘driver’.
Google’s driverless cars have been used on the property of their own headquarters in California where there is the use of only a start and stop button.
It is thought that when they are available for use on public roads there will have to be a wheel and pedals so that they comply with the law. Licences for the driverless vehicles are expected to be issued in CA in September.
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