Drivers in the UK will soon be able to watch TV in their cars, but only in certain circumstances

·1-min read
In certain circumstances, owners of self-driving cars may soon be allowed to watch TV shows while at the wheel.

In the United Kingdom, motorists could soon become the first in the world to be allowed to watch TV shows in their cars, but evidently only under certain conditions. This will only apply to fully autonomous driving scenarios in self-driving cars, therefore only covering a limited number of vehicles.

Proposed updates to the UK's Highway Code announced by the British Department for Transport (DfT) would allow drivers using self-driving cars to watch non-driving-related content on screens built into the vehicle, but not at any time.

The idea is that access to such shows would be allowed when the autonomous driving mode is in use and is controlling the vehicle, currently mainly on freeways, at constant speed, or in traffic jams. If this amendment is adopted, insurers would then be obliged to cover any damage due to potential accidents.

Of course, it is currently forbidden -- in the UK and elsewhere -- to watch any television show or play video games while driving. And at all times, the driver must be able to regain control of the vehicle quickly, if and when necessary, to exit a freeway, for example.

This proposed amendment to the UK's road regulations could potentially pave the way for similar regulations elsewhere in the world.

David Bénard

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