Autonomous cars to hit British roads as early as 2015
Driverless cars have made it to the headlines often in the recent past and while some countries have gone a step ahead in experimenting these cars on the roads, Britain is the next to jump on the autonomous car bandwagon as it has plans to bring the vehicle to the country by early 2015.
The government is expected to announce the plan today, however, there are widespread concerns about road safety. Another thing that makes the government hesitant to make a move is the Highway Code has to be changed before it can let driverless vehicles on the roads.
The test runs will begin in January 2015 and civilians will be given access a little later. The British army already uses driverless cars and the civilians will get an extension of these cars. Currently MIRA provides the driverless vehicles for the army which is focused primarily on vehicle-engineering and design.
Countries including Singapore, Germany, and Japan have started testing the cars already besides the US which has been on Google Driverless cars project for quite some time. Before the cars arrive at Britain, Californian roads will be used to test steering less, pedal- less cars from Google this summer.
While Google assures that these cars will be able to handle all the functions of a driver requiring no activity from the passengers to steer the car, the British government and civilians have expressed concern about road safety.
Suzie Mills, a lawyer at the British law firm Ashfords said in a statement that the government should clarify who has the responsibility in case of an accident before allowing such cars. While it is exciting that driverless cars are coming to Britain, the government will initially offer controls to the passengers who will be responsible for safe driving and upon finding that they are actually safe, the government will allow the vehicles to be completely autonomous.