Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs should be exempt from drink-drive laws if they are using autonomous cars, an Australian report has suggested.
National Transport (CNT) has recommended the change, comparing it to someone getting into a taxi.
The current legislation could be an “obstacle” to the adoption of these vehicles, he said.
Many countries are considering updates to the legislation of the road to accommodate the autonomous vehicles.
The NTC has been examining the necessary legislative amendments as self-driving vehicles become common on the roads of Australia.
These cars have already been tested in the country, and the commercial deployments are expected by 2020.
The report takes into account many aspects of the legislative changes necessary to accommodate these vehicles, but one of the main issues it addresses, it is to decide who would be responsible for the person in the vehicle or the driving system autonomous (ADS) operating.
“The NTC believes that the introduction of automated vehicles will have overall benefits in terms of safety for the highway network by reducing the risk of human error,” the report says.
“Allow people to use an automated system of vehicles to drive at home, despite the fact of having consumed alcohol has the potential to improve road safety outcomes by reducing the incidence of drunk driving.”
It does not recommend that drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs be exempt if they are semi-autonomous vehicles, or cars that allow manual switching of the driving.
Ben Gardner, an associate at law firm Pinsent Masons, said that the technology had a long way to go before these changes is required.
“The technology is not quite there for full autonomous vehicles and, as long as we need a man to take control if necessary, it would not be good for them to get drunk,” he said.
A recent report by the Pew Research indicated that 87% of AMERICAN adults favored policies that would see a person in the driver’s seat, which could take control of an autonomous vehicle if necessary.
And 83% think that these vehicles must travel in dedicated lanes.