A major UK government consultation to help pave the way for automated cars to be used on British roads is being launched, with all drivers invited to have their say.
At the heart of the consultation are two new proposals that will focus on bringing motor insurance rules and the Highway Code up to date with the fast-paced development of autonomous vehicle technology. Separately, in an attempt for Britain to lead the way globally in embracing the safe development of driverless technology, the government will launch a competition for a further £30 million from the Intelligent Mobility Fund next month, for research and development of innovative connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who believes Britain is already leading the way on driverless technology, said: “Driverless car technology will revolutionise the way we travel and deliver better journeys. Britain is leading the way but I want everyone to have the chance to have a say on how we embrace and use these technologies. Our roads are already some of the safest in the world and increasing advanced driver assist and driverless technologies have the potential to help cut the number of accidents further.”
Under the proposals, the ‘Highway code’ and regulations will be changed to support the safe use of remote control parking and motorway assist features and insurance law will be changed so that, in the future, motorists who have handed control to their ‘self-driving’ cars can be insured properly.
Motor insurance will remain compulsory but will be extended to cover product liability for automated vehicles. When a motorist has handed control to their vehicle, they can be reassured that their insurance will be there if anything goes wrong. The driver’s insurer will still pay out in the normal way so road accident victims are promptly reimbursed – but the insurer will then be able to claim the money back from the car company if the vehicle is deemed to be at fault.
The consultation on the 2 changes is already underway and will run until 9th September. The government is encouraging the public to contribute to the new measures. If you want to have your say on the future of autonomous technology, visit the dedicated government here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/advanced-driver-assistance-systems-and-automated-vehicle-technologies-supporting-their-use-in-the-uk