Tag Archives: cars

Leading the way in development of driverless technology

Leading the way in development of driverless technology

Britain is set to lead the way in development of driverless technology

Driverless technology

The Department of transport have announced that a major consultation to help pave the way for automated cars to be used on British roads is being launched. They invite all drivers to have their say.

They propose rules changes; so automated vehicles(driverless technology) can be insured for use on the roads.

In addition, the Highway code and regulations will need to be altered so advanced driver assistance systems that change lanes on the motorway and park the vehicle by remote can be used safely.

The government next month are launching a competition for £30 million from the Intelligent Mobility Fund, for research and development of innovative connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

The government wants Britain to lead the way globally in embracing the safe development of driverless technology.

Google using driverless technology

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

“Driverless car technology will revolutionise the way we travel and deliver better journeys.

Britain is leading the way but I want everyone to have the chance to have a say on how we embrace and use these technologies.

Our roads are already some of the safest in the world and increasing advanced driver assist and driverless technologies have the potential to help cut the number of accidents further.”

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“Britain’s auto industry has always been at the forefront of innovation and research. This additional £30 million of funding for reseach and development (R&D) is a further sign of our commitment to making sure we’re creating opportunities for UK businesses to thrive and attract global investment in world-class technology.”

It is expected that cars with advanced driver assistance features to be on sale in Britain in the next 2 to 4 years with automated and driverless vehicles on the roads any time from the mid-2020s onwards.

The idea behind advanced driver assistance systems and ‘self-driving’ technologies are to transform travel and help deliver safer road journeys across the world.

The consultation on the 2 changes has been underway from the 11th of July 2016 and will last for 9 weeks.

Department of transport proposals are:

Changes to the ‘Highway code’ and regulations to support the safe use of remote control parking and motorway assist features.

insurance law will also be changed so that, motorists who have handed control to their ‘self-driving’ cars are insured properly.

The proposed changes to insurance will be brought forward in the Modern Transport Bill. Motor insurance will be extended to cover product liability for automated vehicles.

Google using driverless technology in a Lexus

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said:

“The ABI’s Automated Driving Insurer Group has been engaged in constructive and productive discussions with the DfT for many months now so it is good to see the importance of insurance to the vehicles of the future recognised within this consultation. The development of automated driving will revolutionise motoring, potentially as important a road safety innovation as the seatbelt. Insurers strongly support the Government’s ambition of making the UK a world leader in this technology and believe the insurance industry has a key role in helping give consumers confidence in using these vehicles when they become more widely available.”

The Department of transport say that the driver’s insurer will still pay out in the normal way so road accident victims are promptly reimbursed, but change will be that the insurer will then be able to claim the money back from the car company if the vehicle is deemed to be at fault.

Want to read more about driverless cars? Click here.

Raising the standard of MOT testing

MOT Testing

Raising the standard of MOT testing to improve road safety

Plans have been revealed to improve road safety and give road users a better service when they take their vehicle for its MOT.

The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) is introducing:

~A qualification for new MOT testers and managers (industry-recognised)

~And annual training and assessments for the existing 58,000 MOT testers

Carrying out MOTs to the right standard

Every year in Great Britain, around 27 million car MOTs are carried out.

While the vast majority are done to the right standard, DVSA have admitted that data shows some errors are made during the testing process. This is where the new qualification and training process will come in to place, to help reduce these errors.

MOT qualification

As of September 2016, new MOT testers will need a nationally-recognised qualification.

To be eligible for the qualification, they’ll already need to have:

~A technical qualification (For example, a Vehicle Technician, Vehicle Maintenance and Repair NVQ)

~At least 4 years of experience in the motor trade

They’ll then need to:

~successfully complete an MOT tester qualification course

~pass an MOT demonstration test with a DVSA examiner

The new qualification offers more people the opportunity to develop their skills and enter a career in MOT testing, which in turn will help to boost the industry.

Annual training and assessments

MOT testers will also have to take training and pass an assessment every year to continue carrying out MOTs.

The training will focus on topics which DVSA data shows testers are most likely to get wrong.

It means that drivers can be more confident that their MOT result is right, and that any vehicle faults are correctly identified. This helps protect everyone from unsafe vehicles.

Transport Minister, Lord Ahmad, said:

“MOT testers do an excellent and essential job ensuring that vehicles are fit to be driven on our roads.”

“We want all workers to be proud of their profession and drivers to be sure they are getting the right test result. We are introducing this new qualification and training and assessment regime to further boost the reputation of the profession.”

DVSA’s Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, added:

“Checking your vehicle is safe to drive is one of our top priorities. Ensuring the quality of MOT testing will ensure customers can be confident their vehicle will be tested in a highly professional manner.”

“The new qualification as well as the annual training and assessment will continue to build on the professional reputation of the MOT industry. It will help DVSA to regularly assess the standard of the industry and quickly address any problems that arise.”

“By achieving this new qualification, garages or testers will enable their businesses to flourish, but where standards are not being met, DVSA has an obligation to protect the public by withdrawing authority to carry out MOT testing.”

Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) Director, Stuart James, said:

“The new qualification is something that technicians can genuinely be proud of and knowing that the assessment standards are so very high, this can only enhance the UK’s excellent road safety record.”

Click here to check the MOT history of your vehicle

Raising the standard of MOT testing
Foreign Trucks and Driving Without Due Care and Attention

Foreign Trucks and Driving Without Due Care and Attention

Traffic jamCareless driving.  Or, as I’ve often heard it called driving with undue care and attention which, if I wanted to be really pedantic, probably means driving with more care and attention than is necessary!  Well we won’t go there but it is worth considering issues where the offence may arise.  There are many and indeed I will devote more space to this very wide topic in a forthcoming article.

The motorways seem to be often clogged up with foreign trucks and lorries rumbling up and down the country.  If they are foreign registered trucks then then they will almost certainly be left hand drive and that is reason for exceptional care and attention – both on the part of the truck driver and on the part of the motorist passing one of these vehicles.  The plain fact is that the driver of a left hand drive HGV will have a very limited view of a car that is to the right of the cab.  For all intents and purposes your car in this situation will be invisible.  Probably one needs to be sat in the driving seat of a left hand drive HGV to fully appreciate this for oneself but it makes sense; the HGV is tall and wide, the car is usually low and often small, the foreign driver is sat next to the near side verge and may have nothing more than mirrors to inform him of the position of immediate traffic.  It is potentially quite scary.  Only if the cab is fitted with a camera system whereby there are views to the sides and rear at least will the HGV driver be fully informed of the traffic surrounding him.

So what should the UK car driver do?  The best advice I’ve heard if you come across one of these foreign registered vehicles is to stay a car’s length behind it and, if overtaking becomes necessary or desirable, to do so smartly; get past as quickly as possible in case the lorry pulls out suddenly and collides with your car because that can and does happen.

The driver of a left hand drive HGV who pulls out into the path of an overtaking car may be at fault or he may think he has exercised all reasonable due care and attention given the physical difficulties he too often has; it’s a fine line.  Either way it is of precious little comfort to the driver of a car that’s damaged by a fast moving and very heavy vehicle driven by a driver who may have only a limited command of the English language.  With the police almost bound to be involved in the aftermath of an accident – perhaps leading to an in-depth analysis of any shortcomings in your driving skills there are plenty of considerations to bear in mind the more we see of foreign-registered trucks on British roads.  And the cost to your insurance policy may be another unwelcome consideration that may last long after the collision.

So it is right to exercise the very greatest degree of care and attention in these circumstances; probably no less is due.

Newnham & Jordan Solicitors are able to assist and advise you with regard to a variety of Road Traffic, Driving and other regulatory issues.

 Call us now on 01202 877400

This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &  Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for  any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this  article or any external articles it may refer or link to.