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Remote control parking will be available in the UK next month

Remote control parking will be available in the UK next month

(Posted on 17/05/18)

Drivers will be able to use remote control parking on British roads from next month after the government announced plans to change the laws.

Changes to the Highway Code and relevant regulations were consulted on earlier this year and received support from a range of groups including manufacturers, insurance groups and haulage companies.

Developments like remote control parking and motorway assist have the potential to transform car travel for those with mobility challenges, unlocking tight parking spaces and using computers to help driver accuracy on the road.

The technology also has the potential to make driving more energy efficient meaning cheaper, cleaner journeys, with improved air quality for both drivers and pedestrians.

Jesse Norman, transport minister said: “Advanced driver assistance systems are already starting to revolutionise driving.

“It’s encouraging to see the strong support for these innovations from a range of stakeholders. We will continue to review our driving laws, to ensure drivers can enjoy the potential of these new tools safely.”

The updates will provide clarity for motorists about how the technologies can be used and allow the increased use of features like cruise control.

With gadgets like these already available on some vehicle models, the updates see the law moulding to the modern driving world, making sure drivers are ready to use their new technology safely and ensuring the law is flexible for future breakthroughs.

The changes are part of a package of work to ensure UK road laws are fit to support automated driving technology as they develop and provide clarity on new use cases.

The government also recently tasked the Law Commission with a detailed review of driving laws, along with planned updates to the code of practice to ensure that as technology develops the UK remains one of the best places in the world to develop, test and drive self-driving vehicles.

This builds on previous consultations on automated and will help realise the government’s desire to see fully self-driving cars on the UK roads by 2021.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “Connected and autonomous vehicles will transform our lives, with the potential to reduce up to 25,000 serious accidents and create more than 300,000 jobs over the next decade.

“The announcement is just one step towards increasing automation, but it is an important one enabling increased convenience especially for those with restricted mobility. It is another welcome commitment from government to keep the UK firmly at the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle development and rollout.”

The government has stated that while advanced driver assistance technology will benefit British road users, drivers must continue to maintain overall control of their vehicle.

The remote-control function may be used in a variety of ways, from a key fob issued by the manufacturer, to an app on a device such as a mobile phone.

In addition, rules in the Highway Code will be changed so clarity is given on both the use of remote control parking, and driver assistance systems that can control aspects of driving such as changing lanes on the motorway. The changes proposed will update Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulation 110.

Currently the regulation stipulates that drivers may not hold a mobile device while in their vehicle. The proposed update will allow drivers to use their remote-control parking device but they will need to be within six metres of their vehicle and the updates will be reflected in the Highway Code.

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