The government is about to give a group of people a nice easy, fun bit of legal negotiating to do, as it prepares to launch a three-year rethink of driving laws in preparation for the self-driving car boom that everyone assumes is coming because the tech companies all say it is.
The key elements to be looked at are how criminal offences need to be tweaked to take into account the various levels of assistance being offered -- and the fact that some cars may not even have steering wheels -- along with deciding the tricky issue of who the driver is and who's to blame when a driverless car inevitably hits the headlines by killing its first person on our roads. Is it the developer of the software? The man at the council who signed the permit? The boss of the factory? Bradley Wiggins?
Law commissioner Nicholas Paines QC explained: "British roads are already among the safest in the world and automated vehicles have the potential to make them even safer. Provided our laws are ready for them. We’ll now start consulting widely on how the law should work with this new technology and develop reforms which enable the use of self-driving vehicles in the years to come." [GOV]