In what would be a world first, Britain is considering regulating the use of Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) on its roads, possibly even on motorways at speeds of up to 70 miles (113 km) per hour. It is also deciding whether to describe them to the general public as “automated” systems.
It is that one word – automated – that has stirred controversy and put the country at the centre of a global debate about self-driving terminology at a sensitive moment in its evolution.
The technology is evolving rapidly and there is no consensus on how to deploy it or what to call some features. Regulations in the Americas, Europe and Asia lag far behind technical developments and issues over accident liability are unresolved.