Hands-free Driving Could Be Made Legal On UK Roads By Spring. According to Wikipedia hands-free is an adjective describing devices that can be used without the use of hands or devices which need limited use of hands. It can also mean equipment in which the controls are set so that the hands can take up another task, such as driving, without needing to hunt far afield for the controls.
DfT, Department for Transport has offered a call for evidence into automated lane-keeping systems. This technology helps to control the car’s movement and also keeps it in a lane for some period of time, although drivers need to be ready to take back control. So with the new technology, long stretches of motorway driving could be a thing of the past.
Hands-free Driving Could Be Made Legal On UK Roads By Spring
According to BBC, the Department for Transport has issued a call for evidence into ALKS (Automated Lane Keeping Systems). Such tech controls a car’s movement and can also keep it in the lane for extended periods. The society of motor manufacturers and traders claims that the introduction of new technology can cut accidents.
The technology that makes a car steer itself and stays in the lane, and even around curves; already exists in some modern cars, however, the law says that drivers must be at alert and be ready to take over immediately. One known example is Tesla’s Autopilot. The device it’s seen as level two on the five defined levels of self-driving cars.
However, the next step level three- would not need the attention of the driver every time and in theory, the driver could do other things like, watch movies, access email until the car prompts them to take over. Unveiling such systems will require changes to the current legal framework, something the Department for Transport sate it is considering.
ALKS Technology Approval And Views
Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) technology has been approved by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which the UK is part of.
It set rules to let the system in motorway traffic jams, at speeds of up to 37mph (60 km/h). Although it could be given the go-ahead for speeds of up to 70mph in the UK, according to the DfT, making long stretches of tedious motorway driving a thing of the past.
Nevertheless, the UK government wants to hear from voices within the motoring platform in order to decide how safe it will be to implement the technology, with the consultation closing on 27 October. However, the call for evidence will look at whether ALKS enabled cars should be classed as automated. That is to say, the technology provider would be responsible for safety while the system is engaged, rather than the driver.
The minister for transport Rachel MacLean said “ Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for motorists. She continued “The UK should be the first country to see these benefits, attracting manufacturers to develop and test new technologies.”
The Chief Executive of Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes said that “ automated technologies would be life-changing and could prevent 47,000 serious accidents in the next 10 years.
Edmund King, the AA’s president has welcomed the move, saying that the UK is right to look into measures that could potentially make roads safer.