Government plans suggest new rules for driverless cars

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Users of driverless cars could be allowed to take their hands off the steering wheel whilst on the motorway in new plans from the government.

Proposals published by the Department for Transport suggest a revamp of the Highway Code that also suggest drivers will be allowed to leave their vehicle whilst the car parks itself in anticipation of the driverless car revolution, seems to be arriving in the next few years.

The two-second-gap rule, which says drivers should leave a wide enough gap between the car in front to anticipate an emergency stop, could also be altered, as driverless cars will be able to drive in "platoons" along motorways.

Accidents caused by hacked vehicles will be treated the same way as vehicles that are stolen, presumably as the intended driver wouldn't be in control.

In the statement released on the Department for Transport website, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said, "Driverless car technology will revolutionise the way we travel and deliver better journeys.

"Britain is leading the way but I want everyone to have the chance to have a say on how we embrace and use these technologies.

"Our roads are already some of the safest in the world and increasing advanced driver assist and driverless technologies have the potential to help cut the number of accidents further."

The automated car is expected to be on sale in the UK within the next decade, and with these latest measures, the British government is taking action before the vehicles arrive on British shores.

With Google, Volvo and other manufacturers working towards a driverless car future, the government's consultations will take place over the next nine weeks to decide what changes need to be made before the autonomous vehicle arrival.

Author: Jack Healy