The Government is looking to confirm it will legalise the use of “self-driving” driver assistance systems before the end of 2021.
Under the new proposals, drivers of vehicles equipped with autonomous lane-keeping systems (ALKS) would be permitted to use them at speeds up to 37mph on motorways.
Several vehicles are already equipped with adaptive cruise control and lane keeping systems that allow them to technically drive themselves in certain situations. But current legislation states that the driver must remain in control at all times.
If and when the new laws are approved, drivers would no longer have to pay attention to the road ahead while the system was active. Speed limitations mean the system could only be utilised in traffic jams, but would potentially enable drivers to perform activities like reading a newspaper. Drivers would be required to take control of the vehicle when requested.