New laws will allow motorists to control their vehicle at low speed without being physically in it. From June 2018, there will be a legal framework for the use of remote parking features, paving the way for true autonomous vehicles at the hands of consumers, rather than development teams.
A number of mostly high-end cars, such as the BMW 7 series, Mercedes-Benz S-class and Tesla models, already boast the ability to manoeuvre themselves into an end-on parking space using their array of sensors, without any occupants in the car. The ‘driver’ controls the car with a phone app or an advanced key fob.
The laws that were passed on 16 May mean that these features can be used fully legally from June 2018, as long as the car’s operator remains within 6m of the vehicle. The highway code will be updated to reflect these changes.
By Illya Verpraet