Transport Secretary: Driverless Cars Could Be on UK Motorways by 2026


Driverless cars could potentially be seen on UK roads by the end of 2026, according to the UK’s transport secretary. Mark Harper stated that he expects owners of these vehicles to be able to travel without needing to pay attention to the road by that time. The government recently announced plans for new legislation to introduce automated driving in the country, although critics argue that if the technology is not fully prepared, it could lead to serious accidents. Harper emphasized the importance of a proper safety regime and mentioned that he has witnessed the technology being used in California. He hopes that the legislation will be passed by the end of 2024, with elements of fully self-driving cars being gradually rolled out as early as 2026. Harper believes that this technology has the potential to significantly improve road safety and reduce driver errors. While the US and China have seen millions of miles driven by fully automated vehicles, the UK has been more cautious in its approach. Currently, some car models come with driver-assist technology, but human drivers must still have their hands on the wheel and remain focused on the road. Ford’s Mustang Mach E is an exception, allowing drivers in certain areas of the UK to take their hands off the wheel on specific stretches of motorway, although they must still keep their eyes on the road. Ford BlueCruise director Charles Nolan stated that autonomous driving technology is not yet advanced enough and would require further development in software, regulation, and customer acceptance before becoming a reality.

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