parked cars

Remote control car parking soon to be legalised in the UK

Image credit: DT

Drivers will soon be allowed to park their cars automatically under new rules being brought in by the government.

The change would be a step towards the introduction of ‘level 5’ driverless vehicles that do not need any input from the driver and may not even have pedals and steering wheels installed.

The UK’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles describes levels 0–2 as hands on assisted driving; level 3 as hands off, eyes on (the road); and levels 4 and 5 as hands off, eyes off.

A consultation on changes to the Highway Code has been launched which also includes further proposals to allow the widespread use of motorway assistance technology.

Remote control parking is touted as something that would be of specific benefit to drivers with mobility problems.

With manufacturers constantly competing to bring drivers the latest in advanced drive technologies these changes will update the law and ensure it is flexible for future breakthroughs.

“The government is determined that Britain should lead the way in embracing the safe deployment of new vehicle technology,” said Transport Minister Jesse Norman.

“Features such as remote control parking and motorway assist have the potential to transform car travel, adding greater convenience and accessibility to drivers, so that they can park and drive with more confidence.”

For those with mobility issues, remote-control parking has the potential to make far more places accessible, while even for people with small garages, or just faced with navigating inconsiderate parking, it will prove handy.

Similarly, cars with improved cruise-control functions will be able to make journeys on UK roads more energy-efficient, meaning cheaper, cleaner driving.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the automotive trade body SMMT, said: “Manufacturers invest billions in engineering technology to enhance driver comfort, safety and convenience, so these proposals, providing clarity and confidence to consumers, are good news. We welcome government’s continued commitment to keep the UK at the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle development and rollout.”

The consultation on the changes is due to get under way today and will last for six weeks.

In August the government called on automakers to better protect internet-connected vehicles from cyber-attacks especially considering how soon driverless vehicles will be released. 

Nvidia’s latest driverless chip, the ‘Drive PX Pegasus’, includes an AI software layer that oversees the actions of the car and looks for unexpected behaviour in the event of a hack. 

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