A bill allowing drivers to under certain circumstances, use their smartphones while their cars are driving autonomously has been passed in Japan.
The bill also states that the driver must be able to shift to manual driving immediately during an emergency.
The Japan Times reports that the bill to amend the road traffic law, which includes rules on the Level 3 self-driving of vehicles under certain circumstances, recently passed the House of Representatives.
The amended law will come into effect by May next year.
In Level 3 situations, automated driving is permitted under conditions that have to do with the type of road, the vehicle speed and other factors. A Level 3 situation includes a traffic jam on an expressway. Drivers will need to switch to manual driving if the conditions are not met, reports The Japan Times.
Under the current road traffic law, in Japan people are banned from talking on their mobile phones and looking for long periods of time at navigation systems, televisions or other devices.
The amended law will allow such actions if drivers are able to change over from automated to manual driving immediately.
According to The Japan Times the amended law will also require people to equip their vehicles with a device that will record the operating situation of cars and save the data, in order to detect a system malfunction at an early stage and identify the cause of any accidents.