Remote control parking to be legal from next month

Remote control parking is included in a number of high-end models
Remote control parking is included in a number of high-end models
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Drivers will be able to park cars using a smartphone from next month, the Department for Transport has announced.

It is hoped the technology will improve the accuracy of manoeuvres and make tight parking spaces available to more drivers.

There was "overwhelming support" from manufacturers, insurers and haulage companies after changes to the Highway Code to allow remote control parking were consulted on earlier this year, the DfT said.

DfT officials previously expressed concern that there was uncertainty as to whether motorists using their phone to park could be prosecuted.

Remote control parking is included in a number of high-end models and the Government believes the technology can help people with small garages or mobility issues.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: "Advanced driver assistance systems are already starting to revolutionise driving.

"It's encouraging to see the strong support for these innovations from a range of stakeholders. We will continue to review our driving laws, in order to ensure drivers can enjoy the potential of these new tools safely."

The changes are part of a package to ensure UK road laws support automated driving technology.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: "Even the best drivers can get sweaty palms when confronted with a tight parking space, but as with so many aspects of motoring the technology to assist exists and has now been legislated for.

"This law change shows that ministers are determined to ensure regulations keep up with the tech so we all benefit from advances that make our lives both simpler and safer.

"It is important that these relatively small advances in automation work flawlessly as this will build consumer confidence for the day when the car won't just be doing the parking but also all of the driving."

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: "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."