If you were in any way concerned about the potentially unsafe nature of a driverless cars, you can rest a little easier now knowing that as driverless vehicles are being tested on the road, the United Kingdom has set a series of ground rules… or more like, road rules. Just the other week, citizens were concerned when a driver rear-ended a driverless car, and almost immediately, the media and nation were quick to begin questioning whether these cars were deathtraps or not. The new rules that have been passed this week have been put in place and designed to adhere to actual physical drivers on the road.
Nick Summers of Engadget reports a list of rules incluing, “Even in an automated mode, however, the supervisor should adhere to the same rules as an active driver — that means they can’t use their phone or anything else that might distract them.” Each driverless car does have a supervisor, since the cars are currently in the testing phase, and those supervisors now must pay attention just as if they were driving.
Now we can wonder whether there will be similar rules placed when driverless cars become inevitably a worldwide thing. Will passengers of these cars be required to remain focused as well? We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but if it does, one will have to question whether there is even a point to driverless cars. Another significant rule is that driverless cars must record and report data while traveling. Which makes for an interesting concept. Either way you look at it, these rules are certainly going to help ease some of the tension because those with their doubts.
The new safety initiate isn’t simply a list of rules either. The British government is absolutely serious about getting this project to a point of intense safety. They’re even investing into the safety. Devender Kundaliya of BizTek Mojo reports, “The government has allotted a £20 million budget for the project that focuses on reliability, safety, and communication between vehicles. The project also aims to create a practice code for testing autonomous vehicles and develop innovative solutions for the elderly. Firms are now being invited to bid for funds and start working on research projects.” It’s wonderful and fascinating to see the government and the British people so open to this driverless car project, while being absolutely concerned for the safety of the people at the same time.