Britain Will Have Driverless Cars Next Year

August 1, 2014

British lawmakers have announced plans to have driverless cars on British roads in 2015, reports the Telegraph.

To allow the computer-controlled automobiles to operate lawfully, the U.K. will have to change its Highway Code. Driverless vehicles will not be fully autonomous, and drivers will have the option of taking control of their vehicles. Still, many British motorists are wary of the driverless car, concerned about safety.

The United Nations Convention on Road Traffic recently made a change to reflect the likelihood that driverless cars will soon be a reality. While the U.N. rule used to say that "Every driver shall at all times be able to control his vehicle," an amendment now allows for automated driving, provided that the driver can override the system or switch it off.

According to the BBC, the U.K. is offering three cities the chance to host driverless car trials. The testing period will run from 18 to 36 months. It will be the first time that the vehicles will have been allowed to operate on public, rather than private, roads in the U.K.

In the United States, three states have already approved driverless car testing: California, Nevada and Florida. Google, which has developed its own driverless car model, has logged over 300,000 miles on California roads.

Source: Peter Dominiczak, "Driverless cars heading onto British roads in 2015," Telegraph, July 29, 2014; "UK to allow driverless cars on public roads in January," BBC.com, July 30, 2014. 

 

Browse more articles on Government Issues