- Driving Assessments Must Adapt for Autonomous Vehicles, Warns Report
- New Laws Needed for a Robust Framework for Autonomous Vehicles
- Balancing the Impact of Self-Driving Vehicles on Road Safety and Human Drivers
One report by MPs warns that driving tests must be changed to allow autonomous vehicles.
It was stated that the driving test will shortly need to be modified to reflect the fact that drivers must “acquire and maintain the necessary skills for controlling a vehicle in all circumstances.”
The public’s mistrust of SDVs’ safety and ability to hurt other road users inhibits their adoption.
“Over time, drivers may become less experienced and, consequently, less competent.”
However, drivers must retake control of their vehicles in risky situations without warning, increasing their effort.
The report continues, ‘The introduction of autonomous vehicles to the roads of the United Kingdom will affect all road users.
We believe that this should not impose new responsibilities on other road users and pedestrians, restrict their access to or use of public infrastructure, or, most importantly, compromise their safety.
MPs urged the drafting of new laws to cover areas such as vehicle approval, liability for accidents, and cybersecurity, stating that failure to do so would be detrimental to the UK’s self-driving vehicle industry and the country’s reputation as a leader.
On November 7, the King’s Speech will outline proposed legislation for the next parliamentary session.
The United Kingdom became the first European nation to permit hands-free driving on public highways in April after the Department of Transport permitted Ford to activate its BlueCruise system on motorways.
This regulates functions including steering, acceleration, deceleration, and lane position.
In the United Kingdom, fully autonomous vehicles are prohibited from public roads outside of government-approved trials.
Iain Stewart, chairman of the Transport Committee, stated, “Thanks to the energy and innovation of the self-driving vehicles industry, the United Kingdom has a head start in developing a vision for the introduction of SDVs (self-driving vehicles).” This committee generally approves of the government’s strategy.
“Self-driving vehicles are poised to become a great British success story. And we have a competitive edge over many other nations.”
‘Lack of public faith in SDV safety and security hinders their wider deployment. Also their potential to have repercussions for other road users.
We believe the government should take a cautious, incremental approach, introducing SDV technologies only in well-defined contexts initially. Otherwise, we risk unintended consequences.