Self-driving cars could be on UK roads by spring 2021

The Department for Transport has begun a consultation to boost road safety with self-driving car tech

The UK government has put out a call for evidence on Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS), a function used on self-driving cars that can take control of a vehicle at low speeds.

Industry experts have said that ALKS in new cars would reduce road accidents and could be ready by the start of 2021. 

The Department for Transport (DfT) is seeking views from the motoring industry around the role of the driver and the rules of use. The call for evidence will ask whether cars using the technology should be legally defined as an 'automated vehicle, which would mean the technology provider would be responsible for the safety of the vehicle when the system is engaged, rather than the driver.

However, the driver would still be required to "stay alert" and ready to assume control of the vehicle

"Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for motorists and the UK should be the first country to see these benefits, attracting manufacturers to develop and test new technologies," Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said.

"The UK's work in this area is world-leading and the results from this call for evidence could be a significant step forward for this exciting technology."

The AA's president, Edmund Kind said the government was right to start consultations on "collision-avoidance systems" citing the potential to make roads safer. Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders called the technology "life-changing", suggesting it could save 3,900 lives over the next decade.

"This advanced technology is ready for roll out in new models from as early as 2021, so today's announcement is a welcome step in preparing the UK for its use, so we can be among the first to grasp the benefits of this road safety revolution," he said.

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Leading the data race

The trends driving the future of data science

Download now

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

How to achieve daily SAP releases

Accelerate the pace of SAP change to support your digital strategy

Download now

Recommended

Ex-Google engineer gets jail time for trade secrets theft
Development

Ex-Google engineer gets jail time for trade secrets theft

5 Aug 2020
TuSimple launches ‘world's first’ autonomous freight network
automation

TuSimple launches ‘world's first’ autonomous freight network

1 Jul 2020
Will 5G transform the connected car market?
5G

Will 5G transform the connected car market?

26 May 2020
Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws
Business strategy

Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws

6 Nov 2019

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
The Xbox Series X shows how far the cloud still has to go
Cloud

The Xbox Series X shows how far the cloud still has to go

25 Sep 2020