Look mum no hands! Self-driving cars to hit the UK streets by year-end

The self-driving technology will enable vehicles to reach speeds of up to 37mph on motorways

Festival Net Zero 2021

Feeling tired behind the wheel? Don’t worry, your car will take over!

Yes, it’s not sci-fi, self-driving cars will soon be a reality.

The government has today unveiled plans for a self-driving technology that could be introduced no later than the end of the year.

The move is designed to ease congestion, drive down emissions and reduce human error.

Vehicles that will operate with the Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) will be limited to speeds of up to 37 miles per hour on motorways.

Designed for use on a motorway in slow traffic, ALKS will enable a vehicle to drive itself in a single lane, while keeping the ability to easily and safely return control to the driver when needed.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “This is a major step for the safe use of self-driving vehicles in the UK, making future journeys greener, easier and more reliable while also helping the nation to build back better.

“But we must ensure that this exciting new tech is deployed safely, which is why we are consulting on what the rules to enable this should look like. In doing so, we can improve transport for all, securing the UK’s place as a global science superpower.”

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “Automated driving systems could prevent 47,000 serious accidents and save 3,900 lives over the next decade through their ability to reduce the single largest cause of road accidents, human error.

“Technologies such as ALKS will pave the way for higher levels of automation in future and these advances will unleash Britain’s potential to be a world leader in the development and use of these technologies, creating essential jobs while ensuring our roads remain among the safest on the planet.”

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