Grant Shapps pushes plan for driverless cars 

Britons could be the first drivers allowed to take their hands off the wheel on motorways to watch films, send texts or check emails as Grant Shapps pushes plan for driverless cars New lanekeeping technology introduced was introduced to Britain on Friday Introduction is stage three of five needed to see self-driving cars on the road   Grant Shapps wants Britain to be among the first to have automated vehicles

By Sam Baker For Mailonline

Published: 09:12 GMT, 24 January 2021 | Updated: 09:13 GMT, 24 January 2021

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New lanekeeping technology could lead to Britain being the first country in the world to introduce driverless cars as part of a new drive by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. 

The United Nations granted permission for lane-keeping technology to be developed recently and came into force in Britain on Friday, but is so far limited to only roads where traffic flowing in opposite directions are separated by physical barriers.

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Additionally, the technology, which is step three in the five needed to see driverless cars on the road, is not currently permitted on roads where pedestrians or cyclists are allowed, The Times reports.

Britain could be the first country to see driverless cars after new lane-keeping technology was introduced on Friday as part of a new drive by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured)

Britain could be the first country to see driverless cars after new lane-keeping technology was introduced on Friday as part of a new drive by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured)

The new technology is only allowed on motorways that have stopstart traffic at speeds limited to 37mph.

Although Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously said he wanted to make Britain the 'first country to see these benefits', insurance companies are concerned about the safety issues with the tech.

The insurers aren't opposed to the lanekeeping technology itself, but would prefer for a human to be on control of the vehicle at all times until fully self-driving cars have been produced.

Matthew Avery, director of insurance research at Thatcham Research, told The Times: 'If the government introduces this too quickly it could become the next GM crops.'

Despite Shapps having the power to designate vehicles that in some capacity can drive themselves under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018, no such vehicles have been listed yet (stock image)

Despite Shapps having the power to designate vehicles that in some capacity can drive themselves under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018, no such vehicles have been listed yet (stock image)

He explained that consumers might turn on the new technology before it has taken

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