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Monday, April 15, 2024

Distant driving from abroad faces ban in England and Wales | Self-driving automobiles

The distant driving of automobiles from abroad, equivalent to for the supply of rental automobiles, may very well be banned following a government-commissioned evaluation.

The evaluation was carried out by the Legislation Fee of England and Wales, which really useful ministers regulate the know-how.

It’s at the moment used solely in managed environments, equivalent to farms and warehouses, however future functions might search to increase its use within the UK to the supply of rental automobiles.

The know-how permits for automobiles to be managed remotely, doubtlessly in public areas. There’s at the moment no UK legislation for a driver to be within the automobile they’re controlling.

The fee stated “difficulties in enforcement” meant distant driving from abroad ought to be prohibited “till acceptable worldwide agreements are in place”.

It advised ministers that distant driving in public ought to be allowed provided that firms obtained particular permissions.

The evaluation additionally acknowledged {that a} distant driver ought to be liable for their actions in the identical means as somebody sitting behind the wheel of a automobile, however there ought to be no legal responsibility for faults past their management, equivalent to connectivity failures.

Nicholas Paines KC, the general public legislation commissioner, stated: “Distant driving is an thrilling know-how, however earlier than we see remotely operated automobiles on UK roads we should handle security issues by means of robust regulation.

“Our recommendation concludes that within the fast time period, the federal government would have the ability to handle some gaps within the legislation round distant driving utilizing present powers, whereas additionally offering a path for firms to make use of the know-how lawfully offered that their methods are secure.

“In the long run, it might arrange a full system of distant driving regulation. Rules should reply to different elementary issues round safety threats and legal responsibility within the occasion of an accident.

“Our recommendation paper units out a street map for the way the federal government can handle these issues, while additionally encouraging firms to innovate.”

The transport minister Jesse Norman stated: “Distant driving is already being efficiently used off-road in a number of industries and has large potential to offer new companies and security options for street automobiles.

“The federal government wants to make sure that security is on the forefront of the usage of any new know-how, and the division will fastidiously contemplate the Legislation Fee’s suggestions.”

Final 12 months, the fee additionally really useful that customers of self-driving automobiles ought to have immunity from a variety of motoring offences, together with harmful driving, rushing and leaping pink lights.

The headline of this text was amended on 20 February 2023 as a result of it incorrectly referred to “self-driving automobiles”. Because the textual content of the article made clear the evaluation referred to distant driving.

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