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Hands-free calling on the motorway IN MONTHS: Ministers prepare plans to approve lane-keeping technology


Technology that automatically keeps cars on the lane on highways without driver control could be deployed on UK roads as early as next year, the government announced today.

Ministers are considering whether vehicles with an automated lane departure warning system (ALKS) can be used on some of the busiest roads in the country at speeds of up to 100 km / h.

In a call for evidence released today, they suggest the technology will be available in cars by the spring and ask for views on how it should be regulated by law.

They believe that it makes the roads safer by preventing accidents from changing lanes.

Ministers are considering whether vehicles with an automated lane departure warning system (ALKS) can be used on some of the busiest roads in the country at speeds of up to 100 km / h

When activated, an automated lane keeping system keeps the vehicle in its lane and controls its movements over long periods of time without the driver having to do anything

When activated, an automated lane keeping system keeps the vehicle in its lane and controls its movements over long periods of time without the driver having to do anything

The technology is considered more advanced than the one currently enabled by Tesla for its autopilot system for vehicles such as the Model 3, Model S and Model X.

ALKS are classified as level 3 autonomy and can take control of a vehicle and keep it in the lane so that the driver does not need any input.

Under current UK law, drivers can use technologies such as lane assist systems, but must remain dedicated to the task of driving and be aware of their surroundings – as per Level 2.

Level 3 means that the person at the wheel does not drive when the automated systems are activated, but can step in at any time and have to take over when requested by the system.

Which car brands are currently using the lane support in their vehicles?

Elon Musk's Tesla company is a leader in driverless technology.

The American company has its autopilot system for cars such as the Model 3, Model S and Model X.

However, current UK laws mean that the highest level of automation allowed under a United Nations Economic Commission classification system for Europe is Level 2 – with drivers having to be mindful of driving at all times.

According to Tesla, autopilot enables your car to automatically steer, accelerate and brake in its lane. However, the UK website states that the current "autopilot functions require active driver monitoring and do not make the vehicle autonomous".

The American company has its autopilot system for cars such as the Model 3, Model S and Model X.

The American company has its autopilot system for cars such as the Model 3, Model S and Model X.

The German manufacturer BMW is also a leader in the field of driverless technology.

In 2016, the company announced that the seventh generation of the BMW 5 Series will be equipped with technology that allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel for up to 30 seconds, even at high speeds. Again, the UK system is not allowed.

Nissan has its ProPilot Assist for the electronically powered Nissan Leaf and Infiniti QX50, while Volvo has the Pilot Assist for the Volvo XC40 and XC60.

Volkswagen and Audi offer systems that warn the driver if he gets out of lane.

Mercedes and Ford are just a few of the manufacturers that offer active lane tracking that actually puts the car back on track.

In America, Cadillac has its Super Cruise on the Cadillac CT6, but the system is only available on restricted-access highways that have already been mapped.

However, not all top-end vehicles have semi-automatic systems.

Earlier this year, Kia announced that its Picanto, priced between £ 10,000 and £ 13,000, will feature technology that: warns of and avoids forward collisions; Detect pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; warn of cars in the blind spot; keep on track; and warn you when you start to nod.

Earlier this year, Kia announced that its Picanto, priced between £ 10,000 and £ 13,000, will feature technology that: warns of and avoids forward collisions; Detect pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; warn of cars in the blind spot; keep on track; and warn you when you start to nod

Earlier this year, Kia announced that its Picanto, priced between £ 10,000 and £ 13,000, will feature technology that: warns of and avoids forward collisions; Detect pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; warn of cars in the blind spot; keep on track; and warn you when you start to nod

According to June figures, more than 60 companies have applied to test autonomous vehicles in California, USA alone.

Elon Musk promised last year to bring a fleet of autonomous robotic axes into operation in 2020.

However, he recently announced that he would have people overseeing the system in early 2021, pending regulatory approval.

When a level 3 system is activated, the user can do other things, such as: However, e.g. watching a movie or even sending a text message, you need to maintain a level of vigilance.

There are five levels of autonomy for self-driving cars, with level 5 being full autonomy.

When activated, the ALKS keeps the vehicle in its lane and controls its movements over longer periods of time without the driver having to do anything.

However, the driver must be ready and able to resume driving control within seconds when prompted by the vehicle.

The government has launched a call for evidence about the use of the ALKS system on UK roads

The government has launched a call for evidence about the use of the ALKS system on UK roads

Transport Secretary Rachel Maclean said, "Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for drivers, and the UK should be the first to recognize these benefits and encourage manufacturers to develop and test new technologies."

Transport Secretary Rachel Maclean said, "Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for drivers, and the UK should be the first to recognize these benefits and encourage manufacturers to develop and test new technologies."

Currently, Tesla's autopilot, rated Level 2, is the highest level of vehicle autonomy used on UK roads

Currently, Tesla's autopilot, rated Level 2, is the highest level of vehicle autonomy used on UK roads

If given the green light, Automated Lane Keep Systems will be the first instance of Level 3 vehicle autonomy in the UK

If given the green light, Automated Lane Keep Systems will be the first instance of Level 3 vehicle autonomy in the UK

While it is similar to the technology already in use by Tesla, which it calls autopilot, the US company's system is only classified as Level 2 – drivers are expected to keep their attention on the traffic.

Lane Keeping Assist – a feature that has been available in new cars for over a decade – also falls into Levels 1 and 2 as it only alerts the driver that they are deviating from their lane and it is up to the user to steer the vehicle .

ALKS technology is supported by the AA and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which could prevent tens of thousands of accidents.

The Department of Transportation wants to determine whether vehicles using this technology should be legally defined as automated vehicles, which would mean that the technology provider is responsible for the safety of the vehicle when the system is on, rather than the driver.

Transport Secretary Rachel Maclean said, “Automated technology could make driving safer, smoother and easier for drivers, and the UK should be the first to recognize these benefits and encourage manufacturers to develop and test new technologies.

"The UK's work in this area is world-class and the results of this call for evidence could represent a significant advance in this exciting technology."

According to DfT, ALKS should "give the driver the opportunity to delegate the task of driving to the vehicle for the first time".

What is ALKS and how does it work?

ALKS (Automated Lane Keeping System) technology is the most advanced auto automation to date on UK roads.

When activated, the ALKS keeps the vehicle in its lane and controls its movements over longer periods of time without the driver having to do anything.

However, the driver must be ready and able to resume driving control within seconds when prompted by the vehicle.

Different manufacturers all have their own systems. However, it is generally a predictive camera, usually behind the windshield, laser sensors, infrared sensors, and radar sensors to determine if you are accidentally off track.

When the sensors detect that the car is moving out of lane, it can automatically brake one side of the vehicle to correct the vehicle's position on the road.

Instead of braking subtly, some systems can use discrete steering interventions.

ALKS is referred to as a level 3 system by the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

this means that the person at the wheel does not drive when the automated systems are switched on, but can step in at any time and have to take over at the request of the system.

When a level 3 system is activated, the user can do other things, such as: However, e.g. watching a movie or even sending a text message, needs to keep a certain amount of attention to what is going on around him.

There are five levels of autonomy for self-driving cars, with level 5 being full autonomy.

While it is similar to the technology Tesla is already using, which it calls autopilot, the US company's system is only classified as Level 2 – drivers are expected to pay their full attention to the traffic.

Lane Keeping Assist – a feature that has been available in new cars for over a decade – also falls into Levels 1 and 2 as it only alerts the driver that they are deviating from their lane and it is up to the user to steer the vehicle .

& # 39; When activated, the system keeps the vehicle in its lane and controls its movements for longer periods of time without the driver having to do anything. The driver must be ready and able to resume driving control when prompted by the vehicle. "

More than 50 countries, including the EU member states, have agreed common regulations for vehicles with ALKS, announced the standard manufacturers of the United Nations announced in June.

However, the strict requirements proposed by the United Nations include use at maximum speeds of 60 km / h (37 km / h), an on-board "black box" for data storage, the driver who is buckled up at all times, and activation of the Device only on roads equipped with a central reservation to divide traffic in opposite directions, where pedestrians and cyclists are prohibited.

Mike Hawes, Executive Director of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: & # 39; Automated technologies for vehicles, of which automated lane keeping is the latest, will change lives and make our journeys safer and smoother than ever before and Contribution to preventing around 47,000 serious accidents and saving 3,900 lives over the next ten years.

& # 39; This advanced technology can be introduced in new models as early as 2021. So today's announcement is a welcome step in preparing the UK for deployment. Therefore, we can be among the first to take advantage of this revolution in road safety. & # 39;

The government says it is acting now to ensure that regulation is ready if necessary when ALKS is finally rolled out.

Commenting on the possible arrival of ALKS in the UK, Edmund King, AA President, said: “Over the past fifty years, cutting-edge car technology, from seat belts to airbags to ABS, has helped save thousands of lives.

"The government is right to advise on the latest collision avoidance system that has the potential to make our roads even safer in the future."

Although automotive groups like the AA have supported the demand for evidence, automated vehicles have proven controversial in the past.

A 2019 study by the University of Nottingham suggested that with a driverless car, you may be less proficient behind the wheel and poorly prepared to take the wheel in an emergency.

The study looked at 'conditional automation' cars that can drive themselves on highways and in traffic jams and are expected to be available in the UK market over the next few years.

49 drivers of different ages and genders took part in the study and drove a simulator for half an hour a day for five days.

Participants initially drove manually, but when the simulation reached a two-lane route, they were given the option to hand over control of the car itself.

After about 20 minutes, they were told they needed to manually drive the car again and received a 60-second notification that they were ready to drive.

Researchers Gary Burnett, David Large, and Davide Salanitri found that after participants regained control of the car, driving was poor, swaying across the lanes, and varying their speed during the 10 seconds following the handover.

More than 60 companies have applied to test autonomous vehicles in California alone – many hoping to offer a fully automated hail service on a large scale.

Several companies, including Waymo from Alphabet Inc. and GM Cruise from General Motors, had committed to it over the past two years.

However, those plans were delayed when the industry pulled back after an Uber automated test vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian in March 2018 in Tempe, Arizona.

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