Britain Sets Out Roadmap for Self Driving Vehicle Usage by 2025, Announces Plans for New Laws, Funding

The government said it wanted to take advantage of the emerging market for autonomous vehicles.

Britain Sets Out Roadmap for Self Driving Vehicle Usage by 2025, Announces Plans for New Laws, Funding

Some vehicles with self-driving features could be allowed on large roads by next year

Highlights
  • The funding package included GBP 35 million for safety research
  • Britain said it would allow motorists to watch TV in self-driving cars
  • Self-driving cars will be banned from using handheld phones

Britain said on Friday it wanted a widespread rollout of self-driving vehicles on roads by 2025, announcing plans for new laws and GBP 100 million (roughly Rs. 1,000 crore) of funding. The government said it wanted to take advantage of the emerging market for autonomous vehicles, which it valued at GBP 42 billion (roughly Rs. 3,97,000 crore) and estimated could create 38,000 new jobs. "We want the UK to be at the forefront of developing and using this fantastic technology, and that is why we are investing millions in vital research into safety and setting the legislation to ensure we gain the full benefits that this technology promises," Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

While some vehicles with self-driving features could be allowed on large roads by next year, Friday's announcement also set out the framework for a much wider rollout, including for public transport and delivery vehicles.

The funding package included GBP 35 million (roughly Rs. 300 crore) for safety research, which would feed into new legislation planned to be in place by 2025.

"The legislation would state manufacturers are responsible for the vehicle's actions when self-driving, meaning a human driver would not be liable for incidents related to driving while the vehicle is in control of driving," a government statement said.

Back in April this year, Britain also said that it would allow motorists to watch TV in self-driving cars.

Motorists can sit back and watch TV once self-driving cars are approved on British roads but will be banned from using handheld mobile phones, government plans revealed Wednesday.

The Department for Transport (DfT) set out changes to The Highway Code to “help ensure the first wave of self-driving vehicles are used safely”.

A DfT spokesman confirmed that in self-driving mode, users would not be responsible for crashes, handing the baton to insurers.

Elon Musk Reveals Plans for Tesla Robotaxi During Earnings Call However “motorists must be ready to resume control in a timely way if they are prompted to -- such as when they approach motorway exits”, said a DfT statement. The government hopes to have a full regulatory framework in place by 2025.


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Further reading: Self-Driving, Autonomous Driving
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