December 27, 2017

Self-Driving Cars Allowed to Park Themselves

Motorists will be able to park their vehicles using their smartphone or key fob for the first time, under plans to overhaul the rules of the road. Regulations will be updated to take account of driverless technology, enabling motorists to stand on the roadside and watch their car park itself.

Remote control parking is currently available on a number of prestige models, including the BMW 5- and 7 series. This cutting edge technology is intended to help motorists forced to squeeze their vehicles into small garages or tight parking spaces, as well as passengers with mobility problems who struggle to get in or out of vehicles.

A consultation document from the Department for Transport states that, however, the use of a handheld device to remotely park leads to “uncertainty” at present, because it could clash with regulations that ban motorists from using a mobile phone or tablet at the wheel, thus putting drivers at risk of being prosecuted.

The Department for Transport is proposing to amend the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 in order to make it clear that remote parking devices are legal. The changes, which will be subject to a six-week consultation, will provide an “exemption into this regulation to permit the use of hand-held and mobile communications devices as a means of performing remote control parking manoeuvres”.

Safe driving from Britannia!