The UK has embarked on gathering information that will shape the implementation of automated vehicle technologies through a call for evidence that will guide the introduction of these technological advances. One such invention is the Automated Lane Keeping System that is capable of keeping the vehicle on its lane on motorways at low speeds.
Through this technology, drivers pass the task of driving to the vehicle by activating a system which is able to keep the car on its lane while managing its movement without any intervention from the driver. The driver however should be prepared to take over the driving once prompted by the vehicle.
The UK government has sought industry views on this invention to understand how this system can be safely implemented while focusing on the driver’s duty and system use. This will then inform its introduction in Great Britain while observing the prevailing legal framework. This will determine whether the vehicles utilizing the technology shall be legally defined as automated vehicles meaning the technology provider rather than the driver is responsible for vehicle safety when the system is in use. Safe use on Britain’s roads with speeds of up to 70mph has been proposed.
According to Rachel Maclean the Minister for Transport, automated technology makes driving safer, smoother, and easier hence the UK needs to tap into these advantages while allowing manufacturers the chance to develop and test them. Furthermore, the UK has been at the forefront in this technology and gathered information will help in its rollout.
In June 2020, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe approved ALKS Regulation meaning this technology may be available in vehicles produced for the UK Market starting from Spring 2021. The AA president, Edmund King says the government is working on a collision-avoidance system to make the roads safer. Similar past inventions i.e. seat belts, airbags and ABS have saved many lives.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive at SMMT says automated technology for vehicles is revolutionary and shall make journeys safer and seamless and potentially prevent 47,000 accidents while saving 3,900 lives in 10 years. As the technology gets ready for roll out in models starting 2021, the UK will be among the initial beneficiaries of this invention.
The use of ALKS should be safely implemented and stakeholders are invited to help shape it adoption with public consultation slated for late 2020 to work on Highway Code and legislation.