It’s becoming clearer that it’ll be a thing of the future and official reports proved it by presenting UK’s road rules and investments in driverless cars. Attempting to speed up the development process and guarantee road safety, United Kingdom is paving a good way for a future industry.
As of Friday, the government has announced that it will be offering £20 million (approximately $31 million US) to companies willing to research and develop the potential technology well that is driverless cars. And it’s merely the first batch out of the £100 million it will be investing, that is likely to put the UK far ahead its competitors in the market.
Britain is aiming to boost productivity on new technologies, and if the signs are right, which they likely are, driverless cars will be seen in the not-so-distant future on the roads. The estimated value of the market is set to reach £900 billion by 2025 and the government is certainly helping companies with generous investments and promises.
Of course, though, it will still require vastly wealthy enterprises to undertake the project.
Furthermore, the Department of Transport has recently released the Code of Practice, which puts the official stamp on driverless cars by offering them their own sets of road rules. They might be automatic and promised to be more precise than any human, but they will understandably require a special list of guidelines to follow in order to make traffic safer.
One rule in particular is similar to Google’s self-driving cars, currently being tested in the US. It states that no autonomous vehicle is allowed to operate without a human driver present, who has a valid and appropriate UK driving license. This is not likely to change in the future, as algorithms and calculated functions can make missteps, so there will be the need for an actual driver to guide the car to safety and prevent injuries.
Even while operating a self-driving car, the rules of an active driver still applies. He or she may not use a cellphone while driving or anything that might divert their attention from the road. And, quite obviously, the driverless car should comply to UK’s road rules and have insurance.
The Code of Practice as an official act makes the future of self-driving cars more certain, even if it currently has no direct effect, as most of the vehicles have not been designed for public use just yet, but will be testing in 2016.
However, it is quite the touch to help us better visualize a future where cars will no longer require a driver’s assistance. Just their presence.
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