Vehicle technology

Title: Pathway to driverless cars: Consultation on proposals to support Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Automated Vehicles - Government Response

Organisation: Department for Transport
Date uploaded: 24th January 2017
Date published/launched: January 2017

In this response to a consultation on proposals to support advanced driver assistance systems and automated vehicles, published on 6 January 2017, the DfT announced that it is to extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance to include the use of autonomous vehicles.

The consultation response says that the victim will have a direct right against the motor insurer, and the insurer in turn will have a right of recovery against the responsible party, to the extent there is a liability under existing laws, including product liability laws.

The DfT said it received positive support from automotive, road safety, legal and insurance bodies for its proposed approach to regulating new vehicle technologies in a rolling programme of reform.

With regard to proposals to change the compulsory motor insurance framework, the Government will make the minimum legislative changes required to enable the market to develop appropriate autonomous vehicle insurance products.

However, in response to feedback from the automotive and insurance industries, as well as law firms, the proposals will extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance, creating a single insurer model to protect victims where the autonomous vehicle causes a crash in automated mode.

The Government proposals, which also include updating the Highway Code, will be taken through to the Modern Transport Bill which is due to enter Parliament in early 2017.

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