There is a new Code of Practice being published by the UK Department for Transport for testing driverless cars.
The law currently needs tweaking because they do not take account for autonomous vehicles on open public roads, but as there are driverless cars already being tested in the UK, the law needs to be tweaked.
As of now, the Code of Practice should take care of that. But there will be some tweaking or updates required by the legislation.
This newly published document allows anyone to conduct tests of autonomous vehicles on UK public roads in the future. In fact, it acts like a guide to help you through it.
There are no hard rules because most of the rules contain what you would normally expect. Things such as: all autonomous cars must follow the normal highway code; all cars must be insured and have a valid MOT; and cars must pass the “test track” before hitting the open road.
And obviously, the regulations state that there must be a backup driver in the car who has a full driving license. This driver should be able to take full control of the car if necessary. Furthermore, the backup driver in the car is not allowed to use their phone even if they are not behind the wheel.
One important thing that the document states, is that all autonomous cars must be protected from being accessed by hackers. “Manufacturers providing vehicles, and other organisations supplying parts for testing will need to ensure that all prototype automated controllers and other vehicle systems have appropriate levels of security built into them to manage any risk of unauthorised access.”
Another important rule states that these cars must be fitted with a ‘black box’ type of device that will be able to capture all the data about each journey. So in case it is involved in a collision, this device will help the authorities know who was at fault.