Highway Code updated to cover driverless vehicles

The Department for Transport has announced details of updates to the Highway Code which will allow people to watch videos on the in-built screen, but not use their mobile phones.

Use of self-driving technology is likely to be approved at slow speeds with the proviso the driver is ready to take back control.

The Government has issued details of its consultation and said that it will adopt the term ‘self-driving’ to describe ‘automated vehicles’ under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018, which are listed as vehicles capable of safely and lawfully driving themselves – this was better understood by members of the public during the cognitive research project.

The Highway Code update will also provide further clarification of the differences between self-driving and assistance technologies.

It will enable drivers of self-driving vehicles to view information not related to the driving task on the vehicle’s infotainment system while the vehicle is driving itself, and provide more detail on those rules that continue to apply to the driver, even when the vehicle is in self-driving mode – for example, on being fit to drive, having a road-legal vehicle and not carrying out illegal activities such as using handheld mobile phones.

It says once the proposed changes are made, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will update The Highway Code online and incorporate the amendments into the next hard copy edition of The Highway Code, in the autumn.

You can read the full document here.

(Picture – Tesla)

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