The British government announced yesterday new laws concerning autonomous cars on the UK roads by January 2015. The Highway Code and new legal measures will be reviewed to make sure driverless cars comply with the actual motoring laws.
At a motor industry test facility at MIRA in the Midlands took place an event attended by business secretary, Vince Cable, who announced new measures, including a £10 million regional fund for cities to apply in order to become driverless car test areas. Up to 3 cities will be chosen to share this funding and the trials are estimated to last from 18 to 36 months.
Cable confirmed that the cars will run on British roads from January 2015, which means people may see in traffic other “drivers” sitting at the wheel reading their newspaper, being asleep, or doing whatever other thing. A quarter of the British adults who have completed an autonomous car survey, expressed their fear for the dawn of the driverless cars.
The U.S. and Germany have already approved chip-controlled cars to test on certain controlled public roads and Google’s driverless car has already completed almost 1/3 of a million miles driving around in California. Chancellor George Osborne promised a legislative and regulatory framework to demonstrate to the world’s auto companies that the United Kingdom is the right place for developing and testing driverless cars.
By Gabriela Florea