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​UK to rewrite road laws to pave way for driverless cars

Published time: June 10, 2014 14:25
Edited time: June 27, 2014 07:52
Googles Lexus RX 450H Self Driving Car is seen parked on Pennsylvania Ave. on April 23, 2014 in Washington, DC.(AFP Photo / Mark Wilson)

Googles Lexus RX 450H Self Driving Car is seen parked on Pennsylvania Ave. on April 23, 2014 in Washington, DC.(AFP Photo / Mark Wilson)

The British government is rehashing its road laws in preparation for a new generation of driverless cars. Google unveiled plans to construct a fleet of self-driving vehicles in May, and hopes to have them on the road as early as September.

The UK government says it wants to become a world leader in the development of driverless vehicles, moving to modify road regulations to incorporate the next-generation cars. Although Google is currently at the forefront with 100 self-driving machines in the pipeline, British Science Minister David Willetts says the UK is not far behind.

"We are one of the world leaders in this," Willetts told the Daily Mail,"there is technology and it's British technology. The technology is being developed at Oxford as we speak."

Willetts said he was currently in negotiations with the Department of Transport over rewrites in the Highway Code – the UK road manual – to make way for the vehicles. He wants to make sure “there is a clear and appropriate regime for the testing of driverless cars that supports the world’s car companies to come and test them here.”

The UK government announced last year that it wants to make Britain a center for driverless vehicles. To encourage regional development, the government has also created a $12 million prize fund to encourage a town or city to modify its infrastructure for the cars.

"Driverless cars have the potential to transform our roads and create opportunities for UK companies to develop new technology and create economic growth. We need to ensure their use on UK roads is safe and that the wider public benefit," said the Department of Transport.

Google revealed its plans to build 100 driverless cars in May. Although the end design aims to only have an on-and-off button, the prototypes that are being developed with a steering wheel and pedals to comply with California road laws. Google’s cars will have a top speed of 25mph.

The Californian Department of Motor Vehicles is already drawing up regulations for the cars.

The DMV had thought that the reality was several years away, so it would have time to perfect the rules. That clock just sped up, said the head of the DMV's driverless car program, Bernard Soriano.

"Because of what is potentially out there soon, we need to make sure that the regulations are in place that would keep the public safe but would not impede progress," Soriano added.

Read also:Throw away your driving license: Google launches new self-driving car

Comments (13)


mergon 11.06.2014 07:40

This police thing is getting out of hand how many police chase programs are there on the telly ? fking hundreds,
How many millions do the police make from these programs that are syndicated world wide ?

Then they have the revenue from police stations that have been sold to developers for luxury flats ,then they sold off a large number of police houses .
They also generate a lot of cash from selling off vehicles that have been impounded , vehicles that people cant afford to pay the storage fee,s charged .
then they take away property that has been bought with the proceeds from crime !
Police = money makers !


mergon 11.06.2014 07:29

So you live and work in the UK ,the police shut down a motorway for 10 hours because some one has dented their front wing in a minor accident and you are late for work ,you are on minimum wage and can only just pay the bills then you get pulled in for speeding and face a £10,000 fine ,you cant even afford a £60 fine so you loose your job ,your rented property the police impound your car and the judge sends you to prison for 2 years for none payment ,now you have a criminal record no car and your homeless .
All in the name government greed !


mergon 11.06.2014 07:19

Come to England where the government and councils are broke so they fine you £10,000 for a speeding offence

The EU fines the UK millions of £ every month for a multitude of things like air quality so now it looks like diesel vehicles will be pulled over and fined for being in a clean air zone ,there is a growing culture to take vehicles away and impound them charge immense sums of money to get them out on top of fines that are running into thousands !
In short you would get a better deal if the Mafia were in charge of the transport laws !

View all comments (13)
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