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Legislation to test self-driving cars on public roads approved by Cabinet

The proposal was put forward by Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

A self-driving car on display in Beijing earlier this year.
A self-driving car on display in Beijing earlier this year.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

LEGISLATION FOR THE testing of self-driving vehicles on Irish roads was approved by Cabinet today. 

The Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill was recently approved by the government and will now be amended to allow for testing “under strict guidelines” of autonomous vehicles. 

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said the priority is “always the safety” of roads for all users, but this is a developing sector.

“It is important that we make the most of these developments for not just transport, but also the wider economy,” Ross said in a statement.

“There are real opportunities to grow jobs, while also finding ways to make our roads safer and more efficient and even sustainable.”

Guidelines for this testing began late last year. Work is also ongoing in relation to connected vehicles, which are those that allow other vehicles and the outside world to connect with it. 

A review of Ireland’s road traffic laws was carried out in order to draft the guidelines for testing. 

This morning’s poll on TheJournal.ie showed nearly 48% of readers disagreed that self-driving cars should be legally allowed on Irish roads. 

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