New bill paves the way to self driving in the UK

November 08, 2023
New bill paves the way to self driving in the UK One of the key elements of the briefing document is the belief that the companies supplying the autonomous vehicles will be responsible for their safe operation and will be liable for any accidents
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The UK government has given a green light to the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads, with the announcement of new self-driving legislation. 


A briefing document has also been produced by Downing St, which sets out a legal framework for the introduction. The document says, “Self-driving vehicles will make transport safer, more convenient and more accessible, improving the lives of millions of people. With 88% of accidents currently involving human error, the potential for automated vehicles to reduce costs, injuries and fatalities, is enormous.”

Much of the report draws on the recommendations of the four-year study by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission.    

One of the key elements of the briefing document, is the belief that the companies supplying these vehicles will be responsible for their safe operation and will be liable for any accidents caused by the vehicle. This will mean that the vehicle owner will not be liable, creating many questions on matters of insurance. However, the owner will still be liable for their non-driving responsibilities. 

It is hoped that the bill will provide a level of clarity that will encourage investment in this technology. Similar legislation is also being devised by the European Union.  
 
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