UK to trial driverless cars without safety drivers
Cars without safety drivers could be on Britain’s roads by the end of the year, according to a government announcement.
The government has announced new advanced trial guidelines for the technology which could see autonomous vehicles on public roads within a matter of months.
The Department for Transport said that self-driving cars without steering wheels would be allowed on any public road in the country if they pass the “rigorous safety assessments” needed before the trial.
Uber suspended testing of its self-driving cars in March 2018 after one struck and killed a female cyclist in Phoenix, Arizona.
Investigators said the vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel when the woman, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was struck.
Although there have been no reported fatalities as a result of self-driving car collisions in the UK since trials began, safety concerns regarding the vehicles have been considerable and are a major stumbling block to the adoption of the technology.
Because of this, the government has been emphatic about its desire to engage with industry testing in the hope of allowing completely self-driving cars on UK roads by 2021.