You can watch TV in driven cars

This page was translated using AI and Machine Learning.

(pocket-lint) — The Department of Transportation has outlined changes to the Traffic Act that would allow drivers to view content on an in-car screen when a self-driving car is under control.

These same changes would ban your cell phone use, “as research shows, distracting drivers they pose a greater risk.”

The announcement is a signal for a change in the rules that will be needed in order for UK road users to benefit from the technologies that the cars of the future will offer, with a full legal framework by 2025.

However, there is much to learn here. That’s not the green light to start watching Netflix in your Tesla while using Autopilot on the highway—because defining what would be an acceptable “self-driving mode” is very important here.

Currently, no vehicle is certified for autonomous driving and the current system is considered a driver assistance system, meaning you must maintain control of the vehicle at all times. Although many systems — from Tesla’s Autopilot to Nissan’s ProPilot — offer to handle the driving for you, you should always keep your focus on the road and your hands on the wheel.

However, there is an indication of what would be acceptable: “The technology is likely to begin with vehicles traveling at low speeds on motorways, for example in congested traffic.”

Many are already familiar with adaptive cruise control, which controls vehicle speed and distance from the car in front, with some systems allowing you to come to a full stop and drive again.

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In these situations, the proposed changes may allow you to watch something for fun on the screen in the car. This will at least make long holiday traffic jams more tolerable.

What’s interesting here is the difference between allowing drivers to “view non-driving related content on an in-car screen” and using a smartphone. We all know that using a smartphone is distracting – and just touching a smartphone can break existing rules.

So it seems that the difference here is that you are free to interact with the car instead of holding a device in your hands and sending messages to your friends. You may be able to sit back with your hands resting lightly on the steering wheel and watch the Bridgeton on the center screen as the car drives itself.

What you have to remember is that nothing has changed at the moment. But the Ministry of Transport is preparing to take the next step, which at some point may allow you to take your eyes off.

Written by Chris Hall.

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About the Author: Rusty Kemp

Tv ninja. Lifelong analyst. Award-winning music evangelist. Professional beer buff. Incurable zombie specialist.

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