Automated Lane Keeping Systems consultation launched

florian steciuk F7Rl02ir0Gg unsplash

Published on 19 August 2020 by Mike Waters

The government has announced the launch of a consultation on Automated Lane Keeping Systems and put out a call for evidence.  

Automated Lane Keeping Systems are a new vehicle automation technology which sees some control delegated to the vehicle itself instead of being solely controlled by the operator, potentially preventing accidents 

However, the technology is both new and controversial, and the BMF has previously reported on concerns raised by ACEM, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, about potential dangers vehicle automation technology can pose to vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists.  

Last year, a paper by ACEM which examined the impact of automated cars on the safety of motorcyclists noted that: “In some cases, modern cars do not have robust enough equipment to detect motorcycles. Several accidents in Europe and the US with cars ‘on autopilot’ indicate that some cars failed to detect motorcycles in all situations. Today, in some driver handbooks, one can find statements such as “the system may not detect small vehicles like motorcycles”, which is simply not acceptable from a safety point of view.” 

A statement by the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed that: “The call for evidence will ask whether vehicles using this technology should be legally defined as an automated vehicle, which would mean the technology provider would be responsible for the safety of the vehicle when the system is engaged, rather than the driver. 
The call for evidence also seeks views on government proposals to allow the safe use of this system on British roads at speeds of up to 70mph. 

The DfT’s statement also confirmed that another consultation on changes to legislation and the Highway Code is planned to launch later this year.  
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Picture credit: Florian Steciuk on Unsplash