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Highway Code changes: Watch TV at the wheel in self-driving cars

Drivers in self-driving cars will be allowed to watch TV on built-in screens under the new proposed changes to the Highway code.

Later this year, the UK should start to see self driving vehicles on UK roads. The government have already started putting rules in place for this.

The first use of self-driving technology is likely to be when travelling at slow speeds on motorways, such as in congested traffic or up to 37mph. The changes will say drivers must be ready to take back control of vehicles when prompted.

The use of mobile phones will still not be allowed. This was officially banned in the UK last year. The reason for this is due to the automakers implementing technology to stop a car’s built-in screen from displaying content when the driver is needed to take back control. This cannot be done on a smartphone.

The government have also decided that insurance companies will be liable for an accident claim and not people. Now, this is an ‘interim measure’ until 2025 where a new set of rules can be placed.

This a modification of a law that has been on the books since 1986 that prohibits drivers from viewing a “television-receiving apparatus” when behind the wheel.

Currently, self-driving cars are not legal in the UK, but the Department for Transport (DfT) have said the planned changes to the code are expected to come in over the summer. A year ago, the government announced that basic self-driving cars with automated lane-keeping systems could arrive on British roads by the end of last year. 

The UK government predicted that self-driving tech could “improve road safety across Britain by reducing human error, which is a contributory factor in 88 percent of all recorded road collisions.”

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