The Department for Transport said automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) could be allowed for the first time in the UK but will be limited at first to 37mph (60km/h), before possibly rising to 70mph (112km/h) at a later date.
This kind of autonomous driving would fall into the Level Three (of five) category.
Under this level, drivers are not required to monitor the road or keep their hands on the wheel when the vehicle is driving itself.
But the driver will need to stay alert and be able to take over when requested by the system within 10 seconds. If they don’t, the vehicle will automatically put on its hazard lights to warn nearby vehicles, slow down and eventually stop.