SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES: The government embraced the concept of using autonomous and driverless vehicles.
Their open consultation launched a £30 million competition. The prize wins research and development funding to produce self-driving vehicles.
Cars with driver assistance features should be available before the year 2020. But, it seems driverless vehicles will not be in used until a few years afterwards.
The main purpose of the open consultation is to seek positive public opinion. They are looking for a proposal to change the rules.
But, there is one big challenge to overcome. How to insure autonomous vehicles for their use on public roads in the United Kingdom?
Passing laws to have autonomous vehicles properly insured would give the concept a huge push forward. Consumers would then have assurance of protection while using new autonomous vehicle technologies.
Demand for Autonomous Vehicle Technologies
One of the directors at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) added further comments. He gave an insight into the importance of gaining support from insurers.
He welcomed the autonomous vehicle technologies competition in the UK. British transport competitions such as these will help drive public demand.
He went on to say: “The ABI’s Automated Driving Insurer Group has engaged in discussions with the DfT for many months. It is good to see the importance of insurance to the vehicles of the future recognized within this consultation.
The development of automated driving will revolutionize motoring. It could be as important a road safety innovation as the seatbelt.
Insurers strongly support the government’s ambition of making the UK a world leader in this technology. They believe the insurance industry has a key role. It will help give consumers confidence in using these vehicles when they become more widely available.”
Highway Code for Autonomous Vehicles
The UK Highway Code will need adapting along with other road regulations. It must allow driver assistance systems to operate safely and support lane changes on highways. Not to mention parking a car by remote control.
The British Transport Secretary went further. He explained the reasoning for the government to launch an open consultation online. It coincided with the autonomous vehicle technologies competition for the UK. He commented:
“Britain is leading the way. But I want everyone to have the chance to have a say on how we embrace and use these technologies. Our roads are already some of the safest in the world. Increasing advanced driver assist and driverless technologies has the potential to help cut the number of accidents further.”
£30 Million Autonomous Vehicle Technologies Competition
The UK Government is happy to drive the motion. They aim to support driverless vehicles into the future. They already awarded an injection of £20 million into certain research projects. They were already working on the development of autonomous vehicle technologies.
The latest thrust is an extra £30 million. It got funded by the Intelligent Mobility Fund. They ‘drove’ it in to secure further research and development projects in autonomous vehicle technologies for the United Kingdom.
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