UK to Start Road Tests on Driverless VehiclesFebruary 12, 2015
The United Kingdom is opening up its roads to driverless cars, with the government saying that it wants to take a "light touch, non-regulatory approach" to trials of autonomous vehicles.
The decision follows a six-month review of the country's suitability for driverless tech, in which the government says that current laws are no barrier to testing. The government plans to make £19 million ($29 million) in funding available to four pilot projects across the country.
The projects scheduled will operate in limited numbers and mostly in pedestrianized areas. The vehicles also will not be available for public use and they will have a licensed driver behind the wheel.
The government plans to introduce a "code of practice" to regulate the trials. This non-legislative approach will be "more flexible and less onerous ... than the regulatory approach being followed in other countries, notably in the U.S.," the government says.
The UK government also says that it plans to introduce legislation in 2017 that would cover issues such as liability in the event of a crash.
Two projects will use electric cars: the Lutz Pathfinder Pod in the cities of Milton Keynes and Coventry, and the Meridian shuttle in Greenwich.
Question or comment about this article? Contact the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org