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Britain Set To Be First Country To Let Drivers Take Their Hands Off The Wheel On Motorways

Britain Set To Be First Country To Let Drivers Take Their Hands Off The Wheel On Motorways

New lane keeping technology means Britain is set to become the first country in the world to allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheels when driving on motorways.

It would allow car drivers to do other tasks such as send texts and emails and could reportedly be allowed to begin operating this summer.

The new tech will allow drivers to do other tasks such as answer emails and calls (Credit: Shutterstock)
The new tech will allow drivers to do other tasks such as answer emails and calls (Credit: Shutterstock)

However, the government has signalled that the technology will only be permitted in stop-start motorway traffic at speeds of up to 37mph, rather than the 70mph speed limit for motorways.

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The Sunday Times reports that senior officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) told insurance chiefs about their proposals for the technology last week.

The plans would see the legislation of Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) technology that takes full control of the steering of the car and keeps it in lane. For over a decade, many cars have fitted with Lane Keeping Assist functions and it works by using sensors to alert the driver when they are veering out of their lane and require the driver to correct the car's position.

Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) technology that takes full control of the steering of the car (Credit: Shutterstock)
Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) technology that takes full control of the steering of the car (Credit: Shutterstock)

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ALKS is a more advanced version of this technology because it allows the vehicle to stay in a lane by controlling the movements of the car for an extended period of time without the driver needed to do anything. The driver must be ready to resume control of the vehicle when prompted.

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New Teslas and Mercedes S-Class due to arrive in showrooms later this year are expected to be among the first cars eligible.

Ahead of the introduction of the technology onto British roads, concerns have been raised about safety. AA and Thatcham Research, the motor insurance industry's research body, have highlighted alarming weaknesses. Cars cannot change lanes to avoid a hazard, they are instead slowed to a halt.

Concerns about the new technology has been raised by industry experts (Credit: Pexels)
Concerns about the new technology has been raised by industry experts (Credit: Pexels)

Lilian Greenwood, a Labour MP on the transport select committee, warned: "It simply isn't safe for drivers to ignore the road and do other things while the technology is unable to respond safely to the unexpected."

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Tyla has contacted the Department for Transport for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: UK News, Life News, News, Driving, Life, Technology

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Gregory Robinson

Gregory is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, he has worked for both print and online publications and is particularly interested in TV, (pop) music and lifestyle. He loves Madonna, teen dramas from the 90s and prefers tea over coffee. Get in touch [email protected]