Remote driving vehicles – controlled by a person outside the car miles away or even in another country using wireless connectivity to operate the vehicle on a public road – should only be allowed if companies wanting to use them submit a safety case to the Vehicle Certification Agency and apply for a special order.
Remote drive vehicles are already used in warehouses and on farms but a trial of driverless cars on the public roads was carried out in Milton Keynes and Coventry last year.
Remote vehicles differ from autonomous vehicles because they do not have a driver in them ready to take over at any point, but they are controlled remotely by a human at all times. The trials allowed people to order a car through an app which was then delivered to them, operated by a remote driver. The customer then takes over the vehicle and drives to their destination.
After arriving the vehicle is then remotely driven back to base or to a new customer. The trials employed safety drivers inside the vehicle.
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