The government is considering introducing new Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) technology on the country’s roads starting early next year.

According to the Department for Transport (DfT), such a system would allow the car to control itself for extended periods of time without the driver needing to intervene. The goal is to allow the use of this system at speeds of up to 70 mph (112 km/h) on British roads, according to Autocar.

“Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for motorists and the UK should be the first country to see these benefits, attracting manufacturers to develop and test new technologies,” Transport minister Rachel Maclean said.

The DfT is now seeking views from the industry in order to shape the legislation required for the introductions of ALKS, which includes settling on whether or not cars with this system engaged should be considered autonomous, which in turn would raise driver vs. tech provider liability issues.

Regulations for ALKS were approved by a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe back in June, with the DfT estimating that cars featuring this system could be on UK roads as soon as next spring. Approved regulations only allow for ALKS to be used at speeds of up to 37 mph right now. However, motorway use is the ultimate goal.

Unlike most advanced driver assistance systems available today, ALKS isn’t designed to be used as just an aid, as it permits drivers to rely entirely on the technology.

The British government’s call for evidence on ALKS can be found here.


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