Self-driving cars could be seriously restricted due to concerns over whether they should be allowed to make life and death decisions on the UK’s roads, according to a leading automotive figure.
Dr Ian Robertson, a member of the board of management at BMW AG, believes governments will legislate to restrict their use to help reduce the risk of accidents.
He says that instead we’ll have a “phased approach” to their use with different rules for motorways and local roads.
He said: “The autonomous vehicle will be capable of making decisions which would – in the event of an accident – result in a set of scenarios where the decision being made could result in life and death.
“I don’t think we will reach the stage where legislation allows that in the foreseeable future. I think we will restrict it.”
First real-life tests
Self-driving cars are becoming a reality on UK roads with major tests taking place.
Nissan has taken its Leaf model around east London, hitting speeds of 50mph on its 300-mile trip. Its aim is to make the vehicles available to the public by 2020.
Elsewhere, tests have also taken place in Milton Keynes, Greenwich and Bristol.
And they appear to be popular among the public, with 57% saying they could improve their quality of life, according to an SMMT survey.
This is down to automatic braking and parking features along with their ability to self-diagnose faults.
Date Published: April 12, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown