Commission probes law on remotely driven cars

Commission probes law on remotely driven cars

The prospect of a drunk driver in Albania remotely controlling a automobile on British public roads is among the many problematic eventualities recognized by the Law Commission because it seeks to start out a debate on the authorized standing of distant driving.  A paper published today, following a request from the federal government, asks for views on the necessity and choices for regulating distant driving on public roads.

Know-how enabling a person to drive a automobile from a distant location already exists – however solely in managed environments akin to warehouses, farms and mines, the fee observes. The paper considers how the present authorized framework applies to distant driving on public roads. It focuses on conditions the place the driving force doesn’t have full line of sight and could also be many miles from the automobile, even in a distinct jurisdiction. 

Whereas present street visitors law has no specific requirement for a driver to be inside a automobile, not less than 4 of the Highway Automobiles (Development and Use) Laws might pose issues. These embody Regulation 107 prohibiting leaving a automobile until the engine is stopped and the parking brake set. 

In line with the fee, security challenges embody: 

  • Connectivity: what occurs if the connection between driver and automobile breaks down?
  • Situational consciousness: how can distant drivers stay conscious of their environment with out (for instance) the ‘really feel’ of acceleration?
  • How can distant drivers be stored alert?
  • Cybersecurity: how can unauthorised takeover of automobiles be prevented?

Distant driving additionally raises questions of civil legal responsibility. ‘Complexities might come up if a driving automation function is designed by one organisation and operated by one other, or if the organisation that units up the system subcontracts for distant drivers moderately than using them,’ the paper notes. 

The fee asks whether or not main laws could also be wanted to make it an offence to drive a automobile past line of website until the operation of the automobile is overseen by a licensed organisation. Views could also be submitted till 2 September.

In the meantime, within the case of a drunk driver in Albania: ‘Though the English courts would allow a prison prosecution to be introduced, there could be severe sensible issues with enforcement.’

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