Fully self-driving vehicles could hit UK roads by 2025 under a new government scheme backed by a £100m investment.
The new laws are planned to speed up implementation, with £34m of safety research to be used to develop the legislation.
Vehicles that can only drive themselves on motorways could even go on sale next year, the government said, but residents still need a license to use them on different types of roads.
Others, which are completely autonomous and can be used for deliveries, for example, will not need a license and can operate for a period of three years if the government’s vision is realized.
Self-driving cars, such as Teslas, are already quite common in some UK cities, and companies like Google have been testing self-driving cars on public roads in the US.
The technology relies on multiple cameras and range-detecting lasers to navigate and detect vehicles, pedestrians, and other obstacles.
Advocates say it can make roads safer and reduce driver error, but testing and rules and regulations around the technology are still being worked on.
The government is consulting on the safety issue and says the new law will hold manufacturers accountable for the actions of their vehicles when the self-driving cars are in full control, meaning drivers won’t be liable. liability for the accident.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the industry could create 38,000 jobs and revolutionize public transport.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the technology could “improve people’s access to education and other vital services” and “make our roads safer by reduce the risk of driver error in road crashes”.
“We want the UK to be at the forefront of the development and use of this amazing technology, and that’s why we’re investing millions of dollars in critical safety research and legislation to make sure we get the full benefits that this technology promises,” he added.
AA President Edmund King said the government was right to invest in more funding and research into self-driving technology and the legislation that goes with it.
“Driver assistance systems, for example, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control have helped millions of drivers stay safe on the road,” he said.
“It’s still a huge leap from assisted driving, where the driver is still in control, to self-driving, where the car is in control.
“It is important for the government to study how these vehicles will interact with other road users on different roads and changing weather conditions.
“However, the ultimate prize, in terms of saving thousands of lives and improving mobility of the elderly and less mobile, is well worth pursuing.”