Autonomous vehicles update

The way in which people and goods travel is changing rapidly. As a new era of transport continues to unfold, Kennedys is here to keep you up to date on the latest developments and what they mean for you and your business.

  • 20 May 2024

Automated Vehicles Act 2024: a welcome development for industry

Granted Royal Assent on 20 May 2024, the Automated Vehicles Bill has become law in the UK.  Marking an important development towards enabling the safe deployment of self-driving, a legal framework that provides the foundation for a new regulatory and liability scheme for automated vehicles (AVs).

Alongside requirements to provide certain information regarding AV safety, the new Act will contain measures of central importance to insurers. Importantly, the Act includes provision for sharing of information held by ‘authorised self-driving entities’ and ‘licensed no-user-in-charge operators’, with private business including insurers.  Whilst acknowledged as a key matter during parliamentary debates, the detail on this is not contained in the Act, but is expected to follow in secondary legislation - informed by further consultation - and in many respects is crucial to the successful implementation of this technology.

Insurers will require access to data following a collision involving an AV to establish who or what was in control of the vehicle at material times. In particular, it will be imperative for court experts and insurers to have ready access to event data records and sensor data from vehicles in civil and criminal litigation involving AVs.

Other provisions include immunity for ‘drivers’ in relation to incidents where the vehicle in question was driving autonomously at the relevant time, marketing restrictions and the introduction of a permit system for automated passenger services, such as driverless shuttle buses.

The uncontroversial passage of the Bill through Parliament demonstrates cross-party support for innovative forms of transport in the UK.  Although the Act sets out the overall framework to govern AVs, secondary legislation will follow to provide the regulatory detail, including that relating to authorisation and in-use regulation.  While consultations to shape that detail are expected later this year, it may be that the focus of such measures will resume following the General Election, which must be held no later than 28 January 2025.

Related item: Automated Vehicles Act 2024: a welcome development for industry

  • 21 November 2023

UK Government publish Automated Vehicles Bill policy paper

A UK Government policy paper ‘Automated Vehicles Bill: policy scoping notes’ published on 21 November 2023 recognises the “innovative, highly technical and fast-changing” nature of the self-driving vehicle industry.

To that end the Bill provides for 35 delegated powers to ensure legislation keeps pace and continues to be fit for purpose. Whilst the Bill prescribes a new legislative framework for self-driving vehicles, the paper explains “the technical level of detail is more appropriately dealt with through secondary legislation”.

Among the key measures in the Bill, information collection requirements on Authorised Self-Driving Entities (ASDEs) are imposed. This is to enable the Secretary of State to discharge their monitoring duty, and for breaches of authorisation conditions or requirements to be identified under the in-use regulatory scheme. This requirement is also to enable the assessment of claims (under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018) by insurers.

The government acknowledge “insurers will need to rely on vehicle-generated data to verify that the vehicle was in the alleged location, was driving itself, and to assist in identifying what party in the liability chain is responsible for any fault that caused or contributed to the incident”.

In relation to data needed by the in-use regulatory scheme and insurers, the government anticipates “the requirement is likely to include each occasion” of activation/deactivation of a self-driving feature, issuing of a transition demand and when a collision is detected.

The policy paper indicates the timing of secondary legislation will be subject to consultation on statutory instruments and guidance from next year through to 2026.

Related item: Automated Vehicles Bill: briefing note

  • 8 November 2023

Automated Vehicles Bill introduced in the House of Lords

Introduced and having its first reading in the House of Lords on 8 November, the Bill implements recommendations for reform made by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission. In doing so, the Bill addresses matters relating to self-driving vehicle technology that were expected to feature in the previously announced (and paused) Transport Bill.

Related items:

  • 7 November 2023

Automated Vehicles Bill announced in King’s Speech

Announced in the King’s Speech on 7 November 2023 the Bill aims to “unlock a transport revolution by enabling the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles” by creating a comprehensive legal framework and updating existing laws.

The Bill represents an important step in developing the legal and regulatory framework - which in our view must evolve and adapt with the technology. It is estimated that the value of a successful UK self-driving sector could reach almost £42 billion by 2035. To that end the Bill also represents a move towards realising the significant economic, social and commercial opportunities that the technology presents.

Niall Edwards, Partner, commented:

“Having helped shape the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 and engaged with government and Law Commission consultations on self-driving vehicles that have followed, we welcome the announcement of an Automated Vehicles Bill. We are pleased to see safety is front and centre of the Bill and rightly so in ensuring public confidence in this emerging technology. One issue notable by its absence in the briefing note (but may still be in the Bill or related legislation) is how access to in-vehicle data will be ensured to key stakeholders. Further detail on this will be welcome, as ready access to such data is crucial for insurers and the police in determining where liability lies in the event of a crash.”

Related item: The King’s Speech 2023: the countdown to the general election begins


  • 14 October 2022

    Kennedys calls for safety ambition for self-driving vehicles to go further

    Responding to the consultation launched by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) on 19 August 2022 – ‘Self-driving vehicles – new safety ambition’ – we have welcomed the proposed safety ambition for self-driving vehicles, but have highlighted that wherever possible the aim should be to go further to fully utilise the capabilities of the technology or risk losing public support.

    The government consultation proposes that such vehicles should be held to “the equivalent standard of behaviour as that expected of human drivers; competent and careful.”

    Whilst we agree, the technology is such that autonomous vehicles will have “a number of advantages over their human counterparts” and so the aim should be, wherever possible, to strive for and to apply a higher safety standard than proposed.

    We have also previously raised concerns about the potential in some circumstances for self-driving vehicles to seemingly be held to or required in some way under regulation, to meet a conceivably lower standard of safe driving than a safe and competent human driver. In response to an earlier government call for evidence on the safe use of automated lane keeping system technology on motorways, we expressed our concern at some aspects of the ‘minimum risk manoeuvre’. This was particularly in the context of a self-driving vehicle coming to a stop in lane (rather than seeking ‘safe harbour’ as a human driver would be required to, if possible), and for this to be considered a safe behaviour. By contrast, a human driver might otherwise be found negligent or criminally negligent in similar circumstances.

    We do appreciate that a balance must be struck as technologies are developed to ensure that innovation is not stifled, but it would be harmful to public attitudes and to building a citable book of ‘evidence of safety’ to apply different and lower standards to self-driving vehicles in comparison to human-driven ones.

    If the public sense is that either this emergent technology is not as capable or safe as a competent and safe human driver (or indeed safer), particularly in emergency situations, or that standards or expectations are seemingly lower,…it seems inevitable that this would understandably significantly delay the adoption.

    Niall Edwards, Partner, commented:

An evolving transport landscape that includes recent changes to the Highway Code (with further changes anticipated), the potential regulation of e-scooters, and possible changes to driver licensing mean that the safety standard of self-driving vehicles cannot be considered in isolation. Rather, it must be considered in the context of this background of ongoing change.
  • The consultation closed on 14 October 2022. Following analysis of the responses received, the CCAV “will outline a final safety ambition that will provide the basis for more detailed safety requirements”.

    Related items:

  • 24 June 2022

    Issues paper on remote driving published by Law Commission of England and Wales

    Whilst this issues paper notes that “remote driving is not the same as automated driving and has its own unique challenges” it recognises there is crossover with a number of the issues that relate to self-driving driving and within the paper the Law Commission draw on their Automated Vehicles report (published on 26 January 2022) and the three consultation papers that preceded it.

    The paper explores the application of the existing legal framework to remote driving, with a focus “on remote driving where the driver does not have full line of sight and may be in a remote operations centre many miles from the vehicle”.

    Having invited responses to the issues paper (until 2 September 2022), publication of the Commission’s advice on reform options is due in the early part of next year.

  • 25 April 2022

    The Highway Code – new section on self-driving vehicles laid before Parliament

    On 25 April 2022, a proposed new section to The Highway Code entitled ‘Self-driving vehicles’ was laid before both Houses of Parliament (in accordance with section 38(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988). The Department for Transport recognising that the new section is required “to clearly articulate the expectations for users of vehicles with automated, or self-driving, capability”.

    The proposed alterations follow the public consultation launched by the Department for Transport (which closed on 28 May 2021).

    In addition to providing a summary of the responses to the consultation, the outcome document also references the joint Law Commissions report (published on 26 January 2022) which set out recommendations for a new legal framework to support the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles. In doing so, it states that the “Government has committed to legislating on automated vehicles and is currently considering the recommendations, which will require a long-term programme of regulatory reform”. Recognising that the consultation falls within that “wider context and as part of a programme of extensive reform” the amendments to the Highway Code are considered by the government as a necessary “interim measure to support the safe use of the first self-driving vehicles on UK roads”.

    The proposed alterations must not be made until a period of 40 days (starting on the day the changes were laid before Parliament) has ended.

  • 26 Jan 2022

    Recommendations for legal reforms: Law Commissions publish self-driving vehicles report

    The Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission (the Law Commissions) joint report on the safe introduction of self-driving vehicles has been published following a three-year review.

    The 75 recommendations in the report include the introduction of a new Automated Vehicles Act “setting out new regulatory schemes and new legal actors”. The recommendations also reflect that consultees “expressed a strong desire for a clear bright line between systems which require attention and those that do not, to minimise the potential for confusion between the two”.

    For a feature to be self-driving the Law Commissions’ have recommended that “the authorisation authority must be satisfied that it can control the vehicle so as to drive safely and legally, even if an individual is not monitoring the driving environment, the vehicle or the way that it drives”.

    Alongside this the report highlights the important distinction to the way vehicles that are ‘driver assisted’ rather than ‘self-driving’ are marketed.

    With the report having been laid before the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament, it is now for the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments to consider and determine whether the recommendations are accepted and if so, to introduce the legislation required.

    Related item:

  • 2 Jul 2021

    Law Commissions publish summary of responses to third consultation paper

    The summary of responses to the third consultation paper on the legal framework required for the deployment of automated vehicles has been published. The interim document - reporting on the third stage in this three-year review by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission - can be found here.

    Among the overarching themes that emerged from the responses was the need for flexibility, with many stakeholders placing “a strong emphasis on the ability to revise and update regulations for AVs”. The interim document noting in this respect that the “uncertainties and fast evolution of the technologies mean the legal system needs to be adaptable”.

    A final report providing “recommendations for legal change” is expected later this year and will include an impact assessment. Alongside the final report, the Law Commissions “intend to publish a much fuller analysis of responses” that will include “detailed discussion of consultees’ views”.

    Related items:

  • 28 May 2021

    Consultation on proposed automated vehicles section in The Highway Code closes

    In response to this Department for Transport consultation which closed today, we have recognised the merit in providing a separate section of The Highway Code to cover off proper and safe use of motor vehicles when in autonomous mode (and moving in and out of autonomous mode).

    We do however, consider that certain elements of the proposed wording need to go further to ensure clarity in relation to the obligations that rest with users of automated vehicles.

    We believe the new wording should provide that users of vehicles must be entirely clear that they are in a vehicle which can move in and out of fully autonomous mode. Equally, they need to be able to clearly distinguish such vehicles from vehicles with only assisted driving features.

    Niall Edwards, Partner, commented:

It is all too easy to see how, unless properly informed by a public education information campaign, users may assume, for example, that an intelligent cruise control system or assisted lane keeping system was ‘fully autonomous’ - thereby reducing their attention and involvement in the driving of the vehicle in error when the vehicle was not in fact capable of fully autonomous mode.
  • We also consider some adjustment to the proposed wording is necessary in respect of the level of attention to the vehicle and road required by users of automated vehicles when in autonomous mode. This we believe is particularly important in the context of being properly cognisant of (and able to respond to) transition demand signals and to take back control in a reasonable time period.

    The outcome of the consultation is awaited.

  • 28 Apr 2021

    Outcome of Call for Evidence on ALKS technology published and consultation on amendments to The Highway Code launched

    On 28 April 2021 the Department for Transport and Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles published the summary of responses and next steps following the Call for Evidence on automated lane keeping system (ALKS) technology.

    Amongst the key areas addressed in the outcome document are the Government’s process for listing automated vehicles under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 (including the application of the ‘Monitoring and Control Tests’ set out in the Call for Evidence, and the use of ALKS up to 70mph. In response to comments received on the Tests, the Government has made changes to the definitions of both (rather than the criteria) so that it is clear “that that they apply only where the vehicle is ‘operating within its Operational Design Domain (ODD), and can identify the boundaries of that domain.’”

    On the use of ALKS up to 70mph, a “small majority of respondents opposed the idea of allowing ALKS vehicles to drive up to 70mph, many because they consider ALKS to be unsafe and that current technology does not support safe operation at higher speed.” Others pointing out that the ten second period to respond to a transition demand may be “too long for operation at a higher speed.” The next steps include commissioning research “to scope the technical requirements needed for enabling motorway-based automated driving systems to operate at higher speed and change lanes.”

    As well as highlighting several policy areas, such as driver education, where further steps will be necessary, the Government has also published a consultation alongside this outcome document seeking views on proposed amendments to the Highway Code in relation to automated vehicles. The consultation closes on 28 May 2021.

    Related item: Kennedys warns government over obstacles ahead for autonomous vehicle technology trials

  • 18 Mar 2021

    Safety standards for autonomous vehicles should be high to ensure success, says Kennedys

    Responding to the third and final Law Commission consultation on a regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles (AVs) (which closed on 18 March 2021), we have highlighted that the minimum safety standard for an AV should be above that of the “average” human driver as to do anything less than this is to risk public confidence in this emergent technology.

    In our response we have said that an AV should be able to drive at least as safely as a “reasonably competent and careful human driver” and, on many occasions, adopt a safer overall standard.

    One of the most significant perceived benefits of the introduction of AVs is the reduction of road traffic collisions. We therefore consider the appropriate standard should be an elevated standard, and safer than the average human. This would include better reaction times, the ability to assess the surrounding environment and potential hazards and so on.

    Niall Edwards, Partner, commented:

Whilst we can see the need for transition demands to be sent when a vehicle is moving on or off certain road types, there is the sense within this consultation that the AV may be sending transition demands back to the user-in-charge in perhaps too wide a set of emergency circumstances. We believe that the correct approach and the first rule would be to start with the ambition that an AV can and will respond to all emergency situations in at least as safe a manner as a human driver, if not better.
  • 18 Dec 2020

    Law Commission consultation on Automated Vehicles – part 3

    The Law Commission has today published its third and final consultation, proposing a regulatory framework for Automated Vehicles (AVs). The consultation closes on 18 March 2021 and the Commission intends to publish its final report by the end of 2021.

    Drawing on responses from a wide range of consultees to the earlier stages of the review, the consultation paper provides overarching proposals for the safe deployment of AVs on British roads. Specifically, the proposals include consideration of the responsibilities of users and fleet operators, civil and criminal liability, access to data and cybersecurity risks.

    Having responded to the two previous consultations, Kennedys will be responding to this important final stage of the three-year review.

  • 27 Oct 2020

    Kennedys warns Government over obstacles ahead for autonomous vehicle technology

    In a response submitted today to the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles on the Safe Use of Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS), which could lead to the legalisation of “lane keeping” technology and allow drivers to relinquish control of a vehicle, we have emphasised that consumer confidence in the technology, including several measures to ensure users of this technology are fully educated, informed and aware on the operation and safe use of the system, will be key.

    The current regulatory framework for ALKS vehicles falls under AEVA (Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Act 2018). However, we have raised concerns over AEVA’s suitability. AEVA was a preliminary piece of legislation that was designed to ‘kick-start’ this area, and uses very broad terms, which are difficult to apply to the very specific driving environment set out in the proposals.

The Government’s ambition to place the UK at the forefront of new technologies, and data-driven innovation is clear and commendable. However, that shift requires a suitable policy framework to achieve those aims and, in particular, address concerns around public safety, where the liability rests when accidents occur and data security. Faced with these challenges, the Government needs to take heed of these issues and support data-driven innovation in a joined up and comprehensive way. The Government must establish a trusted data framework and listen to the views of end-users in order to realise its vision of technical leadership. Deborah Newberry
  • 18 Aug 2020

    Consultation launched on use of “lane keeping” technology on Great Britain’s motorways

    Following the approval of the Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) Regulation (the ALKS Regulation) in June 2020 by the United Nations, the UK Government is seeking views from industry on the use of this system within the UK’s current legal framework - particularly whether vehicles using this technology should be legally defined as an “automated vehicle”.

    ALKS technology is defined in the ALKS Regulation. By way of a summary, it is a system that is activated by the driver, keeping the vehicle in lane at speeds of 60 km/h (37 mph) or less for extended periods without the need for further input from the driver.

    The call for evidence launched on 18 August 2020 is also seeking views on government proposals to allow the safe use of this system on British roads at speeds of up to 70mph, subject to potentially setting additional requirements on the technology that must not conflict with existing requirements under the ALKS Regulation.

    The consultation is being run by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles within the Department for Transport and closes on 27 October 2020. Crucially, the Government says that ALKS enabled vehicles are likely to be available in the UK by Spring 2021.

  • Q4 2020

    Third Law Commission consultation paper expected in fourth quarter of 2020

    As part of the regulatory review for the safe deployment of automated vehicles in the UK by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Law Commission of Scotland, publication of a third consultation paper is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

    The third consultation paper “will consider the safety assurance scheme for automated vehicles, corporate liability and other issues such as access to data”.

    Drawing on responses received to the previous two consultation papers in this three-year review, the intention is “to formulate overarching proposals on the way forward”, with a final report to follow in 2021 setting out recommendations on all issues.

  • 20 May 2020

    Regulation of automated passenger-only transport services must be sufficiently flexible

    The results of Part 2 of the Law Commissions’ joint consultation into the regulation of automated vehicles, “emphasised how uncertain the future has become, and how regulation must be sufficiently flexible to deal with a wide variety of eventualities.” These uncertainties having been “amplified” since this part of the consultation closed in February 2020.

    The focus of Part 2 of the consultation was on a new form of transport service which “uses highly automated vehicles to supply road journeys to passengers without a human driver or user-in-charge”, capable of travelling empty or with passengers.                          

    Published on 20 May 2020, the analysis of the written responses received from a wide range of consultees - that included insurance organisations, legal professionals, public sector organisations, and original equipment manufacturers – highlighted Kennedys’ thinking on several key issues.

In our response we highlighted that any new regulatory structure should be outcome focussed and provide flexibility to regulators to achieve those outcomes.
  • That way, regulation will be better placed to keep pace with technology and not pose a barrier to innovation – a regulatory framework that can evolve and adapt as the technology develops is essential.

    We also called for certainty in respect of legal responsibility for insuring, keeping the vehicle roadworthy and installing safety critical updates.

    A third consultation paper is expected later this year, “which will consider the safety assurance scheme for automated vehicles, corporate liability and other issues such as access to data”. The aim being for the third paper to include detailed proposals, leading to a final report in 2021 setting out recommendations on all issues.

    Related item: Regulation of automated passenger-only transport services must be sufficiently flexible

  • 3 Feb 2020

    Kennedys backs combination of criminal and regulatory regimes to help build confidence in driverless public transport

    In our response to Part 2 of the Law Commissions’ consultation on autonomous vehicles (which closed on 3 February 2020), we have recommended that new criminal offences dealing with cyber-attacks on buses, taxis and other forms of driverless public transport will be needed as the technology emerges.

    We highlighted the importance of bringing public sentiment along with technological development in our response to a Law Commission consultation on the regulation of what is referred to as Highly Automated Road Passenger Services, or HARPS. This refers to a service which uses highly automated vehicles to supply road journeys to passengers without a human driver or user-in-charge with legal responsibility for its safety.

    We acknowledge that there will be many challenges in implementing passenger-only transport services, not least ensuring safety, accessibility for all, and data privacy to name a few.

The approach taken to meet these challenges will ultimately determine consumer acceptance and the extent to which these new services will be successfully adopted.
  • Equally, we feel that “autonomous vehicles represent opportunities to unlock new capacity in urban transport systems by improving efficiency within the existing infrastructure, potentially reducing the need to invest billions in new metro or rail systems, and support the green agenda”.

    Related item: Kennedys backs combination of criminal and regulatory regimes to help build confidence in driverless public transport

  • 16 Oct 2019

    Next phase in review of regulatory framework for automated vehicles launched

    The focus of Part 2 of the Law Commissions’ three-year review is on a new form of service which “uses highly automated vehicles to supply road journeys to passengers without a human driver or user-in-charge”, capable of travelling empty or with passengers. Referred to in the consultation paper as Highly Automated Road Passenger Services, or HARPS, it is envisaged that this new form of service will require a new regulatory regime, distinct from those already applicable to taxis, private hire or public service vehicles.

    Key amongst the matters for consideration under the consultation paper are wider transport goals. In particular, creating a regulatory regime for HARPS that “should promote a service that benefits society more generally”, with a focus on accessibility for disabled and older people.

    The consultation closes on 3 February 2020.

  • 19 Jun 2019

    Collaboration is key to safe regulation of autonomous vehicles

    The results of the Law Commissions’ joint preliminary consultation into the safe regulation of autonomous vehicles published today, echo the importance of manufacturers working collaboratively with government and insurers on data management in the new driverless vehicles environment.

    The analysis of the written responses received from a wide range of consultees - that included insurers, legal professionals, local government, and manufacturers – highlighted Kennedys’ thinking on several key issues.

    We welcome the Law Commissions’ detailed analysis. The responses highlight that it is absolutely vital that the government and key stakeholders work collaboratively to ensure that autonomous vehicle technology is brought to our roads safely, and under a clear and transparent insurance and liability framework that is sufficiently agile to keep pace with technological advances.

    The next phase of the three-year review being undertaken by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission, will be to consult this year on the regulation of automated vehicles in public transport and mobility as a service.

    Related item: Collaboration is key to safe regulation of autonomous vehicles

  • 19 Feb 2019

    Government must get people talking on autonomous vehicles

    In our response to the Law Commissions’ preliminary consultation on autonomous vehicles (which closed on 18 February 2019), we confirmed our belief that government need to work centrally to further facilitate meetings and communication between various stakeholders, and in particular between insurers and manufacturers.

    We recognise that while there have been some steps from government to make this happen, a lot more needs to be done if it is to improve underwriting and the provision of insurance for autonomous vehicles. We have also said that the role of the “user-in-charge” - the person operating the controls of the automated vehicle when not in autonomous mode – must be made clear now and cannot wait until the technology further develops.

    Related items:
    Kennedys tells government it must get people talking on autonomous vehicles
    Autonomous vehicles – the criminal law perspective

  • 6 Feb 2019

    New Code of Practice to support advanced testing of AVs

    The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles has published its Code of Practice: Automated vehicle trialling (February 2019), which updates the previous version published in 2015. One of the overarching aims (as set out at paragraph 1.7 of the Code) is to:

Support and promote the safe trialling and use of automated vehicle technologies and services on public roads or in other public places in the UK and build public confidence in automated vehicle technologies and services.
  • 8 Nov 2018

    Review of regulatory framework for automated vehicles launched

    As part of a review of the regulatory framework for the safe deployment of automated vehicles in the UK, the Law Commissions of England and Wales, and Scotland published its preliminary consultation paper on 8 November 2018. Closing on 8 February 2018, the consultation represents a positive step towards developing an appropriate framework following the enactment of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018.

    With a focus on the need to fill any gaps in existing civil and criminal liability, as well as changes to ensure appropriate vehicle safety assurance and transparency from manufacturers, the consultation is part of a three-year project running from March 2018.

  • 13 Sep 2018

    International, industrywide standards are needed for autonomous vehicle liability

    While a variety of discussions are taking place around the world, there are already differences in the coverage and liability systems emerging. This brings into focus the importance of governments and the whole industry – from trade bodies to manufacturers and the entire supply chain – working together to create a singular legal framework, global to national, for what will happen if an autonomous vehicle is involved in an accident.

    Drawing from our recent research on driverless vehicles, we have published a special article on autonomous vehicle liability, as featured in Raconteur's 'Future of Transport' report in The Times.

    Related item: International, industrywide standards are needed for autonomous vehicle liability

  • 19 Jul 2018

    Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 receives Royal Assent

    The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill received Royal Assent on 19 July 2018. The intention behind the legislation is to emphasise that if there is an insurance ‘event’ (accident) the compensation route for the individual remains within the motor insurance settlement framework, rather than through a product liability framework against a manufacturer.

    In most cases, first instance liability will fall on insurers so that victims of accidents caused by autonomous vehicles will be able to receive compensation easily and quickly, albeit with the insurer’s ability to pursue recovery from a product liability or professional indemnity insurer.

    Related items:
    Automated and Electric Vehicles Act briefing
    Who is to blame when autonomous vehicles are involved?

  • 18 Oct 2017

    Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill presented to parliament

    The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill was presented to parliament on 18 October 2017, with the aim of supporting innovation in self-driving technology in the UK.

    The Bill was introduced as part of the government’s industrial strategy to promote the development and deployment of both automated and electric vehicles, in line with policies on climate change. The legislation is split into two parts: one which extends the existing compulsory third party insurance framework to cover the use of automated vehicles; and a second which deals with electric and hydrogen powered vehicles charging infrastructure.

Related content