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Self-driving cars could be allowed on UK motorways next year Self-driving cars

Drivers could have their cars run on highways with automated technology as early as next year, if the government reviews it.

Manufacturers are expected to introduce the next generation of collision avoidance and lane keeping technology in new car models in 2021. You will move from providing alerts and driver assistance to taking control – and possibly responsibility – of speed and steering.

While the technology is meant to deal with traffic jams at low speeds, the government is considering legalizing it for use at speeds up to 100 km / h in slow lanes of highways, with cars automatically staying in the lane and for those in front Vehicles slow down.

A key question in the government consultation launched on Tuesday is whether the driver will be held legally responsible for the car or whether the car will be defined as an automated vehicle.

While the driver must remain ready to take over at the request of the vehicle, it can be decided that the technology provider is legally responsible if the automated lane keeping system (ALKS) is activated.

Transport Secretary Rachel Maclean said the result could be a significant step forward in changing the way cars drive: “Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for drivers, and the UK should be the first to see these benefits and attracts manufacturers to develop and test new technologies. “

The AA supported the movements. Edmund King, president of the automobile organization, said the government is “right to deliberate on the latest collision avoidance system that has the potential to make our roads even safer in the future.”

Mike Hawes, executive director of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said this could prove “life changing,” adding, “This advanced technology can be introduced into new models as early as 2021. So today’s announcement is a welcome step as we prepare the UK for its deployment, and we can be among the first to take advantage of this road safety revolution. “

However, some were skeptical that cars would be classified as legally automated, as the government proposed. Jim Holder, Editorial Director of What Car? Said, “This is an industry that is under massive financial pressure. Why would they take another major insurance risk? “

According to Holder, attempts to use automated lane keeping technology have not been reassuring: “You haven’t necessarily reached the point where you would trust them enough. You work 90% of the time, but that’s not enough. “

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