Coming soon: Remote controlled parking

Posted on: 01 August 2018

The government recently announced a law change allowing motorists to further utilise the rapidly evolving landscape of motor technology. Specifically, the new laws mean that drivers can use remote controlled parking and other advanced assistance systems (ADAS) on the roads from June.

The news comes as the government is doing a lot to position the UK as an attractive proposition to companies testing autonomous car technologies and other advanced systems. The law will let cars (fitted with the correct technology and software) complete parallel and end-on parking at the touch of a button, while the driver looks on from outside the vehicle.

This is undoubtedly a leap forward for law makers and will help pave the way for further autonomous announcements in the future and maintain a flexible approach to future laws. This particular change will make motorist’s lives easier and improve accessibility. Developments like remote control parking and motorway assist have the potential to transform car travel for those with mobility challenges.

By positioning the UK as a hub of autonomous innovation, the government hopes to make testing the technology as hassle free as possible. They are seeking to build an industry around the technology as it’s expected to be worth £900bn by 20251.

The government consulted with manufacturers, insurance groups and haulage companies and received overwhelming support for the changes to the Highway Code and relevant regulations.

From an insurance perspective, how the new rules translate to everyday use will be particularly interesting. It needs to be made clear that using a remote controlled parking system still constitutes ‘use of vehicle’ and would still be subject to the Road Traffic Act – like the rest of the motor policy and the same responsibilities of driving apply.

Educationally, this new functionality needs to be adequately explained to any customers before it is used to avoid any confusion and to minimise the risk of accident.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive:

Connected and autonomous vehicles will transform our lives, with the potential to reduce up to 25,000 serious accidents and create more than 300,000 jobs over the next decade.

"Today’s announcement is just one step towards increasing automation but it is an important one enabling increased convenience especially for those with restricted mobility. It is another welcome commitment from government to keep the UK firmly at the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle development and rollout."