Government Plans to Tear Up Highway Code to Allow for Driverless Cars

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government's pushing ahead with plans to make the UK's roads welcoming to driverless cars -- and the minted tech giants that would have us in them -- and has announced a consultation over how and why the Highway Code and our insurance laws might change to accommodate vehicles being controlled by a algorithm more used to driving on the right.

The consultation wants to know what we think about it all, asking if the regulators should only make allowances for the halfway house assistance technologies likely to come online within the next four years, or if everything should be ripped to pieces to rebuild the entire framework to allow for a future well into the next decade where cars may well be fully autonomous.

A lot of it is to do with the complicated but boring business of insurance. The paper wants to "ensure insurance products will be available for arrival" of the technologies, as there won't be much point in your 2021 Tesla or Citroen Nexus or whatever being delivered only to be told it's uninsurable and may only be driven on private roads or reversed backwards and forwards endlessly within the confines of your driveway.

One key plan is to have the insurance policies still work as they do today, but with the option for insurers to claim money back from the maker of the automated system, should it have been judged to have been at fault in an accident. [GOV]

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