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Expert comment on changing the highway code to allow ALKS

Following the news today that "Motorists will be permitted to check e-mails and even watch TV at the wheel" under plans to legalise driverless ALKS, (Automated Lane Keeping Systems) technology by the end of the year, Dr Siddartha Khastgir from WMG, University of Warwick shares his thoughts on changing the Highway code to enable motorists on the motorway to rely on technology with no human input when travelling at speeds under 37mph.Dr Siddartha Khastgir, WMG, University of Warwick

Dr Siddartha Khastgir, from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

"We welcome the UK Government publishing the results of the Call for Evidence for Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) from last year. ALKS is an important step on our journey to introduce selfdriving car technology on UK roads. However, It is important to highlight that:

ALKS ≠ Selfdriving car system. It is an important step on our journey to having self-driving cars.

Having said that, ALKS as a technology has a potential to provide lots of benefits but there are a few things that manufacturers, government/regulators and drivers need to be responsible for:

Regulators: Create a robust approval process for ensuring safety of ALKS. Ensure public education and any marketing of ALKS is done accurately and not mislead public.

Manufacturers: Establish and communicate true capabilities and limitations. This includes an elaborate and accurate representation of the Operational Design Domain (ODD) (i.e. operating conditions) of the vehicle

Drivers: Understand when they can and can not engage in activities like texting, send emails, watching movies etc. and their responsibilities when the system is active.

These are fundamental to ensuring safe introduction of ALKS and ensuring we reap the benefits."

ENDS

28 APRIL 2021

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice dot j dot scott at warwick dot ac dot uk