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Self-driving vehicles on UK roads by the end of 2021
The UK, one of the world leaders in connected and self-driving vehicle innovation is working on developing the next generation of automated vehicles. Automated Lane Keeping System is the newest addition to these efforts. Outcomes of the Automated Lane Keeping System that is a first example of self-driving technology shows that first types of self-driving vehicles could be on British roads by the end of this year. It is believed that this new system will allow to cut emissions and reduce human made errors.
The department of Transport announced on 28 April 2021, that the first self-driving vehicles will be on the British roads by the end of this year. The government has set out how vehicles fitted with Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) technology could legally be defined as self-driving, as long as they receive GB type approval and that there is no evidence to challenge the vehicle’s ability to self-drive.
These vehicles are designed for use on a motorway in slow traffic, speed of the vehicle will be limited up to 37mph on motorways. ALKS enables the vehicle to drive itself in a single lane while maintaining the ability to easily and safely return control to the driver when required. The technology is also believed to have the ability to improve road safety by reducing human error, which contributes to over 85% of accidents. The driver will be able to hand control over to the vehicle, which will constantly monitor speed and keep a safe distance from other cars.SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes mentioned the safety implications of the new technology, he said: “The automotive industry welcomes this vital step to permit the use of automated vehicles on UK roads, which will put Britain in the vanguard of road safety and automotive technology. Automated driving systems could prevent 47,000 serious accidents and save 3,900 lives over the next decade through their ability to reduce the single largest cause of road accidents – human error.”
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