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The U.K. lays down the law for driverless vehicles

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It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be replacing your car with one that drives itself. With that being the case, the U.K.’s Department for Transport (DfT) is already laying down the law that driverless vehicles will have to adhere to on Britain’s roads.

Many of the rules will already be familiar to drivers, because they’re common standards any road user must follow — whether their car drives itself or not. One of those is having insurance and a valid road worthiness certificate (MOT).

Beyond that, there are some rules specific to driverless cars. For instance, operators must “maintain the regular appearance of someone driving a car – like looking in the correct direction when at junctions… to not confuse other motorists,” The Next Web reports.

So, you can just let the car do all the work while you kick back with a newspaper. That is, of course, until we’ve all got driverless cars, and they’re so advanced that we can catch up with our favorite Netflix shows on a comfy couch while they drive us to work all on their own.

In addition to looking alert, driverless car operators are prohibited from drinking alcohol or taking drugs prior to using their vehicle, and they are not allowed to use a mobile phone inside it — even if the car is in automatic mode and driving itself.

The DfT also says that driverless cars must be fitted with a “black box” — like that you’d find on an aircraft — that is capable of “capturing data from the sensor and control systems associated with the automated features as well as other information concerning the vehicle’s movement.”

The box must record when the vehicle is in automatic or manual driving mode, its speed, steering and other commands, and more.

The U.K. has already given driverless cars the green light, and now that the rules have been laid out, it shouldn’t be too long before they’re being spotted on public roads. Initially that will be in a test capacity, of course, but you can be certain you’ll be able to get your very own soon.

Gov.uk The Next Web

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Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...


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