A leading voice of the UK motor industry is encouraging the Government to be among the first to ‘grasp the benefits’ of automated driving technology.
Earlier this week, the Government launched a call for evidence as it considers permitting the use of an automated system that is capable of taking control of a vehicle travelling at low speeds on a motorway.
When activated, the Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) keeps a vehicle within its lane, controlling movements for extended periods of time without the driver needing to do anything.
The driver must be ready and able to resume driving control when prompted by the vehicle.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has backed the announcement, describing it as a ‘welcome step’ in bringing regulations up to speed.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Autonomous vehicle technologies, of which automated lane keeping is the latest, will be life-changing, making our journeys safer and smoother than ever before and helping prevent some 47,000 serious accidents and save 3,900 lives over the next decade.
“This advanced technology is ready for roll out in new models from as early as 2021, so today’s announcement is a welcome step in bringing the regulation up to speed so that the UK can be among the first to grasp the benefits of this road safety revolution.”
The call for evidence asks whether vehicles using this technology should be legally defined as an automated vehicle, which would mean the technology provider would be responsible for the safety of the vehicle when the system is engaged, rather than the driver.