Harper suggests driverless cars on UK roads by 2026

The Transport Secretary says driverless cars could be on our roads by 2026, as they are “gradually” introduced.

Mark Harper was responding to questions from motoring journalist and Grand Tour host James May on the BBC’s Today Programme, when Mr May was guest editor.

He said: “The legislation is going through Parliament at the moment so hopefully we’ll get that through Parliament by the end of 2024.

“Probably by as early as 2026, people will start seeing some elements of these cars that have full self-driving capabilities being rolled out.

“We already know the technology works. You can see the technology being rolled out with a safety driver in place.

“I’ve seen the technology being used in California for example, without a safety driver, so in full, autonomous mode.

“This technology exists, it works and what we’re doing is putting in place the proper legislation so that people can have full confidence in the safety of this technology, which I think is one of the important things we’ve got to do.”

Mr Harper did not refer to the current issues with Cruise driverless vehicles in the US, which have been taken off the roads after a collision with a pedestrian in the Californian city of San Francisco.

Asked if people will be able to travel in self-driving vehicles “with your hands off the wheel, doing your emails” in 2026, the Daily Mail quotes Mr Harper as replying: “Yes, and I think that’s when companies are expecting – in 2026, during that year – that we’ll start seeing this technology rolled out.”

(Picture – Yay Images)

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