As driverless cars look to be coming to the roads of the UK, government officials have stated that the highway code will need to be altered in order to make it legal to drive on the roads of the UK. Current laws mean that they are unable to be used on the roads in our country.
David Willetts is the current Science Minister and it was stated recently that he has been in talks with the department for transport about incorporating some new laws which will allow driverless cars to be allowed onto the roads of the UK.
Google have produced a driverless car, with prototypes set for tests on the roads of California later in the year. This car has no pedals or steering wheel and works off GPS and also uses Google maps. There are buttons to start, stop and pull over the car.
There is a British version of the driverless car currently being developed in Oxford but will be illegal to use on the UK roads until the new laws are passed.
This is what Willetts had to say on the issue: “There is British technology, and it’s a lot cheaper than the Google technology, 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. We need to work on these type of regulations so that as the technology develops in Oxford and elsewhere we can see them used.”
There are driverless pods which are set to be tested on the pavements of Milton Keynes in 2015. These pods can be called by a smartphone app and will operate between Milton Keynes Central Train Station and the Central Milton Keynes shopping centre, stopping between offices if necessary. The pods will move at speeds of 12mph.
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