Self-driving cars: Drivers can watch tv, won’t be liable for crashes, says UK government

Self-driving cars: Drivers can watch tv, won’t be liable for crashes, says UK government

It will remain illegal to use a phone behind the wheel.

United Kingdom is bringing major changes to its Highway Code to cover the motorists who use self-driving cars.

Under the proposed changes, the motorists of these cars can now binge on movies, play games and even scroll through websites if the drivers keep in a single lane and below 37 mph (59.5 kph).

Moreover, the drivers won’t be even liable for any accidents that take place when the car is self-driving.

The proposal by the Department for Transport (DfT) states that the insurance firms would be liable for accidents when it is in self-driving mode.

However, the drivers must be ready to resume control of their cars in a timely fashion– such as when they approach motorway exits.

It will remain illegal to use a phone behind the wheel.

The government has described these as interim measures to support the early rollout of self-driving vehicles in UK which could take place this year.

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Trudy Harrison, a transport minister, said these changes were proposed following a public consultation and would be a “major milestone in our safe introduction of self-driving vehicles”, which would “revolutionise the way we travel”, The Guardian reported.

“This exciting technology is developing at pace right here in Great Britain and we’re ensuring we have strong foundations in place for drivers when it takes to our roads,” she was quoted as saying.

“In doing so, we can help improve travel for all while boosting economic growth across the nation and securing Britain’s place as a global science superpower,” she added.

According to the Daily Mail, these updates will be made to the Highway Code to legalise driverless technology before full regulations are introduced in 2025.

Even though UK has expressed optimism over the safety of self-driving cars, the United States, where the use of technology is advanced, has witnessed various mishaps.

In 2018, a 19-year-old pedestrian was killed by a self-driving Uber car in Arizona.

Investigators said the car’s safety driver, Rafaela Vasquez, had been streaming an episode of The Voice. She is awaiting a homicide trial.

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