UK is ready to embrace driverless cars and according to science Minister David Willetts, the country will be rewriting Highway code to ensure that such cars are tested properly on the streets before they are allowed to be sold commercially.
Willetts, while speaking with the Daily Mail, revealed that the current Highway is inadequate to deal with the new technology and that he has already discussed this with the Department for Transport.
The minister revealed that UK already has its own technology for driverless cars and that too a lot cheaper. The technology is being developed at department of engineering science at Oxford University.
“But whereas the Google car, they have notched up more miles, so we have got to ensure that the British has its own opportunity to get tested in a wider range of environments and that’s what we are working on with the department for transport.”
Four states in America including Nevada, Florida, California, and Michigan have already passed laws concerning driverless cars and California will start giving out licenses this Autumn.
But, the situation in European countries including UK, Spain and Netherlands is entirely different as their laws don’t even permit such cars to be on roads for testing never mind general usage.
Willetts said that recent amendments in the United Nations’ 1968 Convention on Road Traffic has paved way for use of driverless cars and vehicles. The minister said that while California has a legal framework permitting travel in such vehicles, the UK government is already aware of the matter.
“Certainly there are new regulations being drafted in California and obviously this is something I have discussed with the Department for Transport, we are aware of it”, said Willetts.
“We need to work on these type of regulations so that as the technology develops in Oxford and elsewhere we can see them used.”