The Highway Code change would result in drivers in self-driving cars watching TV behind the wheel at 60 km/h

New changes to the Highway Code allow drivers to watch TV, catch the latest films and surf the internet in self-driving cars, as long as they stay in one lane and under 60 km/h

Embargoed to 0500 Tuesday May 23 File photo dated 06/03/17 of a demonstration of a driverless prototype car. Fewer than one in five UK motorists would trust driverless cars built by tech giants, according to a new study. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 23, 2017 Google has been building cars to test self-driving software and there is growing speculation that Apple may be entering the automotive industry. See PA story TRANSPORT Driverless. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
Brits could catch up on their favorite TV series or read a book under the new Highway Code changes

Changes in the highway code allow drivers to consume their favorite boxes, catch a new movie, and surf the web in self-driving cars.

Under new rules, drivers in autonomous vehicles can watch TV or the latest films while driving, as long as drivers stay in a single lane and under 60 km/h.

In addition, drivers are not liable for accidents that occur when a car is driving itself.

When drivers hand over control of the car to the car, insurance companies are liable for accidents when it is in self-driving mode.

However, drivers must be prepared to regain control of their car in a timely manner if necessary.

Using the phone while driving remains illegal.

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While no self-driving cars are currently on the roads, they are expected in the coming months


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These types of self-driving cars have not yet been approved for use on Britain’s roads, but they could be in months according to new plans announced today.

The measures follow a public consultation and are described as an interim government response to support the early deployment of self-driving cars.

The changes precede full regulations to be introduced in 2025 and there are currently no vehicles approved for self-driving in the UK.

The Department for Transport announced in April 2021 it would allow hands-free driving in vehicles with lane-keeping technology on congested highways.

Existing technologies on the market such as cruise control and automatic stop/start are classified as “supportive”, meaning the user must remain in full control.

Transport Secretary Trudy Harrison said the Highway Code update is an “important milestone in our safe rollout of self-driving vehicles.”

She claimed it will “revolutionize the way we travel and make our future travel greener, safer and more reliable”.

Under the rules, insurance companies, not drivers, would be liable for accidents


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

She continued: “This exciting technology is developing rapidly here in the UK and we make sure we have a strong foundation for drivers on our roads.

“By doing so, we can help improve travel for all, while boosting economic growth across the country and securing Britain’s place as a global science superpower.”

The development of self-driving vehicles could create around 38,000 new jobs in the UK by 2035 and add £41.7 billion worth to the economy, according to the DfT.

For this to apply to cars, they must be able to only occupy one lane and stay below 60 km/h


Steve Gooding, director of engine research organization RAC Foundation, said driverless cars “promise a future in which deaths and injuries on our roads will be significantly reduced” but there will likely be a “long transition period” while drivers “take much of the responsibility for what is happening”.

He stressed the importance of law changes being properly and clearly communicated to drivers.

“Vehicle manufacturers and sellers will play a crucial role in ensuring their customers fully appreciate the capabilities of the cars they buy and the rules that govern them,” he said.

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Fry Electronics Team

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