Car? Check. Driver? Nope. OK, let's go, says British govt

Don't forget the ‘test driver’ for legal reasons though

Driverless, computer-controlled cars can legally be tested on Blighty's roads from today - Wednesday - a government report has concluded. However you will need a "test driver" for the moment.

The review said the government is taking a "light touch/non-regulatory approach" to driverless car testing to make the UK the "premium location globally for the development of these technologies".

Business secretary Vince Cable said the £19m government-funded driverless car projects underway in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry will contribute to the "£900bn industry by 2025".

Transport minister Claire Perry added: "Driverless cars are the future, [and] I want Britain to be at the forefront of this exciting new development, to embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment."

The government will publish a driverless car "code of practice" in Spring. "[This] will be quicker to establish, more flexible and less onerous for those wishing to engage in testing than the regulatory approach being followed in other countries, notably in the US," said the report.

In Europe, only Germany and Sweden are known to have completed a review of their legislation in this area, with a further three countries currently progressing with one, it said.

However, the report said the vehicle testing will not technically be "driverless", as there will always need to be a suitably qualified "test driver" present.

For everyday use of vehicles the legal and regulatory framework will be amended.

There will be an "aim to amend international regulations by the end of 2018," according to the report. ®

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