Harry Leahey

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The UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, says drivers with self-driving vehicles need to be better educated on the capabilities of autonomous technology.


It comes following the government's recent plans to roll out self-driving vehicles on UK roads from 2025, and some vehicles with self-driving features, such as coaches and lorries on motorways as soon as next year. 


The charity made its case when it presented evidence for driver training to the House of Commons Transport Committee. 


In collaboration with Southampton University, IAM RoadSmart found that there could be an over-reliance on self-driving technology, particularly when control is switched between the vehicle and the driver. 


Following a series of simulator studies, it concluded that coaching delivered safer drivers - becoming more mindful of the capabilities of the technology. 


Neil Greig, Policy and Research Director at IAM RoadSmart, backs the UK’s ambitious plans for self-driving vehicles, but believes training to understand autonomous tech is needed to keep our roads safe. 


He said: “We support the government’s intention to make the UK a world leader in driverless technology, but there is a critical need to train drivers in the new skills they will need to safely control increasingly autonomous cars.


“Research shows clearly that drivers who know what to expect if an autonomous car suddenly hands back control are better able to deal with the situation calmly and safely.


"It is vital that the government works with the DVSA and training providers, such as IAM RoadSmart, to develop new resources to educate drivers.”

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Harry Leahey 22/12/22