UK sets roadmap for self-driving vehicle use by 2025, announces plans for new laws, funding

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Britain on Friday said it wants a broader rollout of self-driving vehicles on the roads by 2025, announcing new laws and plans for funding of GBP 100 million (about Rs 1,000 crore). The government said it wants to take advantage of the emerging market for autonomous vehicles, which is valued at GBP 42 billion (about Rs 3,97,000 crore) and is estimated to create 38,000 new jobs. “We want the UK to be at the forefront of the development and use of this amazing technology, and that is why we are investing millions in critical research into security and establishing legislation to ensure that we are able to use this technology.” Take full advantage of it,” said Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps.

While some vehicles with self-driving features may be allowed on major roads by next year, Friday’s announcement set the framework for a much broader rollout, including public transport and delivery vehicles.

The funding package included GBP 35 million (about Rs 300 crore) for security research, which will be included in the new law to be implemented by 2025.

A government statement said, “The law stipulates that manufacturers self-driving for the actions of the vehicle, which means that a human driver will not be liable for incidents related to driving while the vehicle is in control of the driving.”

In April this year, Britain also said it would allow motorists to watch TV in self-driving cars.

Motorists can sit back and watch TV once self-driving cars are approved on British roads, but the use of handheld mobile phones will be banned, government plans revealed on Wednesday.

The Department of Transportation (DFT) has set out changes to the highway code “to help ensure the first wave of self-driving vehicles are used safely.”

A DFT spokesperson confirmed that in self-driving mode, users will not be responsible for accidents, handing the baton to insurers.

Elon Musk revealed plans for Tesla Robotaxi during an earnings call, although “motorists should be prepared to resume control in a timely manner if they are asked to – such as when they exit the motorway”. A DFT statement said. The government expects a full regulatory framework to be in place by 2025.


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