ALKS cannot be considered automated driving, IUA argues

The IUA says drivers should not be able to take their eyes off the road when using a proposed new assisted driving system.

The IUA supports the roll out of automated vehicles which have the potential to reduce traffic accidents and greatly improve road safety. It believes, however, that ALKS cannot be considered as automated driving.

It should instead be considered a form of driver assistance technology where the driver must remain engaged with the driving task at all times and be prepared to take back control.

The organisation made its views clear to the Department of Transport, which is currently considering proposals for automated lane keeping systems, or ALKS.

DfT is examining the technology to ascertain whether or not it could be adopted as early as next year, but there are a number of safety concerns. Drivers could be called upon to take over control of their vehicle and the 10 second period for them to do so may not be enough time to fully focus on the task.

Dave Matcham, chief executive of the IUA, said: “The risk of misinformation around this new technology must be very carefully managed. It is essential that drivers are fully aware of the capabilities, limitations and their own responsibilities. Otherwise, serious dangers will arise and public confidence in the system will be undermined.

“It is paramount that a clear and robust legal and regulatory framework that prioritises safety underpins this evolving technology.”

The association has also called for vehicle data to be made available to insurers to ensure that liability can be apportioned and claims paid quickly.

Mr Matcham added: “Access to data is essential for insurers to properly analyse and quantify risks, and ultimately pay claims. Information such as the status of any automated driving system around the time of an accident and any camera footage will be important for ensuring that drivers are not held unduly responsible when the technology is at fault.”

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