Drivers of self-driving cars can watch TV on the built-in screen, but the UK government confirmed Wednesday that the use of mobile phones remains banned.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said the update of the highway code, a rulebook for road users in the United Kingdom, is “a major milestone in the safe introduction of private cars” and “revolutionizes our way of transportation. Bring and create our future. ” A more environmentally friendly, safer and more reliable journey. “
Following public consultation on rule changes, the government has announced that it will change the application of current rules that prevent users of self-driving cars from seeing non-driving content on their “television receivers” while driving. bottom. Displays all kinds of information about the vehicle’s built-in equipment.
This is because users of self-driving cars are not considered responsible for how the vehicle is driven and can be distracted from the road as long as the self-driving mode is properly turned on when enabled.
The government says that the content display is because the built-in infotainment device is “designed to block such activity when the vehicle requests resumption of control, helping to manage the driver’s attention.” Clarified that it is allowed.
Handheld devices that do not have the same functionality will remain banned while driving or when traffic is stopped, except when calling emergency services or making contactless payments through drive-through.
Code updates make it clear that drivers need to be ready to regain control of the vehicle as needed.
The new measure was described as an interim measure by the government to support the early deployment of self-driving cars.
A full regulatory framework will be implemented by 2025.
No vehicle is approved for autonomous driving on UK roads, but the first vehicle may be approved this year.
In April 2021, DfT announced that it would enable hands-free driving on congested highways with vehicles equipped with lane keeping technology.
Existing technologies on the market such as cruise control and automatic stop / start are classified as “support”. In other words, the user needs to remain in full control.
Harrison said the new self-driving technology “is being developed at a faster pace here in the UK, providing a strong foundation for drivers when driving on the road.”
“By doing so, we can help drive economic growth across the country, secure Britain’s position as a global science superpower, and improve travel for all.” Said the minister.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the development of self-driving cars will create about 38,000 new jobs in the UK and could bring the economy a value of £ 41.7 billion by 2035.
PA Media contributed to this report.