Driverless car Highway CodeHave you read the bit in the Highway Code that states that both hands must be kept on the wheel where possible?

Science minister David Willetts has, and apparently told the Daily Mail that he’ll be looking at getting this bit removed so that driverless cars – which don’t even feature steering wheels – can be, er, driven on UK roads.

The UK government is doing all it can to encourage the development of autonomous cars, pledging a £10 million cash incentive to any town or city that builds the first test site for driverless vehicles.

As such, a driverless car is currently being developed in Oxford – but it’s a step behind Google’s driverless car as it can’t actually be tested on the roads.

Willetts said: “There is British technology, and it’s a lot cheaper than the Google technology.

“But whereas the Google car, they have notched up more miles, so we have got to ensure that the British has its own opportunity to get tested in a wider range of environments and that’s what we are working on with the department for transport.

“We need to work on these type of regulations so that as the technology develops in Oxford and elsewhere we can see them used.”

Prototype of Google’s driverless car are expected to hit the roads in California later this year. It navigates using GPS and Google Maps, controlled using buttons that tell it to start, stop and pull-over. It doesn’t have any pedals or a steering wheel.

Is it right that the UK government is spending time and money on encouraging development of the driverless car? What do you think?