UK drivers will legally be able to watch TV at the wheel of “self-driving” cars under proposed changes to the Highway Code.
The Highway Code is to be updated to allow drivers to watch TV at the wheel of fully autonomous “self-driving” cars.
Until now, watching television or reading a book has been banned when driving a car. But new rules are being drawn up that will allow motorists to take their eyes off the road.
The changes are being made in preparation for the widespread introduction of self-driving cars, which will no longer require someone to be in control of the vehicle.
Under laws passed by Parliament last year, these vehicles are expected to be widely on Britain’s roads by 2021. The Government believes they will improve road safety as they are not prone to human error and have a better reaction time than people.
DFT officials said the new measures would allow people to do other activities while using driver assistance systems, so long as they were “in control” of their vehicles.
Jesse Norman, roads minister, said that these updates are an important step towards a future in which vehicles can take greater control over driving. These changes will help ensure that the public has high confidence in these technologies.