Electric cars with the possibility of fully autonomous driving can already be found more often on the roads, and their use is being prepared to be allowed in some countries. Great Britain is among them. The country is currently investing $119 million in the development of autonomous driving and an additional $41 million in research, traffic safety support and legislation.
According to the plan, the legislation will provide that the fault in road accidents involving self-driving cars will fall not on the driver, but on the manufacturer of the vehicle. Of course, provided that the car was driven in automatic mode.
A similar practice will be a good precedent for other countries, because now in such cases, the fault falls on the driver of the car.
While the country finalizes the laws, there will be a “consultation period” on the “safety ambitions”, which expect autonomous cars to be as safe as those driven by humans. Based on the obtained results, the standards for the operation of self-driving cars and the potential consequences of their non-compliance will be formed.
“It is still quite a big leap from assisted driving, where the driver is still in control, to self-driving, where the car takes control. It is important that the government does study how these vehicles would interact with other road users on different roads and changing weather conditions. However the ultimate prize, in terms of saving thousands of lives and improving the mobility of the elderly and the less mobile, is well worth pursuing,” said the president of the motorists’ association Edmund King.
In addition, the country wants to take advantage of the self-driving car market, which is currently valued at $50 billion. Also, according to forecasts, it will be able to create an additional 38 thousand jobs. So, of the total amount of investment, $24 million will go to the launch of commercial services with “self-driving” cars (for example, airport shuttles and food delivery), and another $7 million will go to market research and commercialization support.
“We want the UK to be at the forefront of developing and using this fantastic technology, and that is why we are investing millions in vital research into safety and setting the legislation to ensure we gain the full benefits that this technology promises,” says Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Current laws in Great Britain prohibit the use of autopilots. It is planned that drivers will receive permission to use them in 2025.