UK to allow Driverless cars on roads

The United Kingdom has become the first country to announce regulation for the use of self-driving vehicles at low speeds.

Background

The UK wants to be at the forefront in rolling out autonomous driving technology. The Government of UK forecasts that around 40% of UK cars will have self-driving capabilities by 2035. This will create 38,000 jobs in the country.

What is the plan?

The Government of UK has been working on the highway code for the use of self-driving vehicles. The Ministry of Transport is to begin with Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS).

About the Regulations

  • The speed limit of the ALKS is to be set at 37 miles per hour.
  • The ALKS shall drive itself in a single lane.

Background

According to the UK Government, the technology will help reduce accidents caused due to human errors. 85% of accidents in UK are caused due to human errors.

How do Self Driving Vehicles work?

  • A self-driving vehicle is fully autonomous. No driver is required for the safe operation of the vehicle. Self-driving technologies have been developed by Uber, Google, Nissan, Tesla.
  • Most of the self-driving systems maintain an internal map. They use lasers, sensors and radars to map their surroundings. Based on the map created, instructions are delivered to the actuators of the vehicle.

Levels of Driving

  • Level 0: All the major systems are controlled by humans
  • Level 1: It includes automatic braking or cruise control
  • Level 2: The cars offer at least two simultaneous automated functions such as steering and acceleration
  • Level 3: The car is capable of managing all critical safety functions. However, the driver is expected to take over when alerted.
  • Level 4: Almost autonomous. However, not completely
  • Level 5: Completely capable of self-driving in every situation

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