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

The distant driving of autos from abroad, similar to for the supply of rental vehicles, may very well be banned following a government-commissioned overview.

The overview was carried out by the Regulation Fee of England and Wales, which really useful ministers regulate the expertise.

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

The expertise permits for autos to be managed remotely, probably in public areas. There’s at the moment no UK regulation for a driver to be within the car they’re controlling.

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

It instructed ministers that distant driving in public must be allowed provided that firms obtained particular permissions.

The overview additionally said {that a} distant driver must be liable for their actions in the identical means as somebody sitting behind the wheel of a car, however there must be no legal responsibility for faults past their management, similar to connectivity failures.

Nicholas Paines KC, the general public regulation commissioner, stated: “Distant driving is an thrilling expertise, however earlier than we see remotely operated vehicles on UK roads we should deal with security issues by means of robust regulation.

“Our recommendation concludes that within the rapid time period, the federal government would have the ability to deal with some gaps within the regulation round distant driving utilizing current powers, whereas additionally offering a path for firms to make use of the expertise lawfully supplied that their methods are secure.

“In the long term, it may 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 a way the federal government can deal with 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 big potential to offer new providers and security options for street autos.

“The federal government wants to make sure that security is on the forefront of using any new expertise, and the division will fastidiously think about the Regulation Fee’s suggestions.”

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

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

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