UK to Allow Driverless Cars on Public Roads in January
Dave Alcock / 3 years ago
The UK Government have announced that Driverless cars will be allowed onto the UK roads as early as January 2015, putting the UK at the forefront for this technology.
At the moment, this technology has only been tested on closed roads and private tracks due to restrictions with insurance, but now the Business Secretary Vince Cable says they will be on our streets in less than 6 months.
Other countries already have provided access to public routes, three states in the US have already approved the vehicles and Googles driverless car has already done 300,000 miles on the open road. Japan and Sweden have also been looking into this technology closely, with tests taking place since early 2013.
Cities that wish to see the driverless cars will have until October to register their interest. Three of these cities will then be selected to trial the vehicles, getting a share of £10m to help to make sure that they are ready for them. The trial will last between 18 and 36 months and will focus on what rules should apply to the vehicles.
At the moment the vehicles are not the most aesthetically pleasing due to the multitude of sensors, including GPS, radar, ultrasonic and many more to make sure the car knows exactly where it is at all times, car manufacturers including Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Audi are working on how to try to hide these sensors to improve the appearance as well as keep the vehicles safe.
There have been concerns from politicians however, particularly in the US with the FBI also warning that driverless cars could be used as weapons and are predicting the vehicles will have a “high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with the car.”