Hands-free driving could soon be a reality?

Driving hands-free could soon become a possibility as consultation opens with the Department for Transport calling for evidence to see if the technology would be workable on the UK’s roads and motorways.

The system, named Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS), controls the movements of vehicle at low speeds and can quite happily keep them within their own lanes until the driver is prompted to re-take control of the vehicle.

Cruise control, which regulates the speed in a similar way, has been available in cars for years now. The DFT said that it would be possible with the new technology to use it at speeds up to 70mph, meaning that long and tedious motorway journeys would become a lot less stressful for drivers.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers, it is said that ALKS and similar systems could prevent 47,000 serious accidents and save over 4,000 lives in the next ten years. The call for evidence from the DFT closes this year on the 27th October and consultation will hear from the whole of the British motor industry departments to see how safely the new system can be implemented and who would be responsible for safety, the driver or the system.

Britain’s Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean, said “Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for motorists and the UK should be the first country to see these benefits, attracting manufacturers to develop and test new technologies. The UK’s work in this area is world leading and the results from this call for evidence could be a significant step forward for this exciting technology.”

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