A new era of transport continues to unfold at pace. The technology innovation that promises to deliver a new future is running in tandem with the reality of a number of business impacts, including changing consumer demands and commercial pressures. All will bring challenge and opportunity.
In the UK, the declaration has been made that self-driving cars are expected on UK roads within three years, creating a £28 billion industry. However, is the legal framework for liability in place for this new world?
As the industry wrestles with how to cover such vehicles and how to educate consumers about the impending arrival of autonomous vehicles, we explore the reality that common standards are unlikely to be in place on some countries’ roads.
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, in-depth research, it is evident that consumers have a number of clear concerns about driverless cars. In particular, 80% of people are concerned about sharing the road with driverless commercial vehicles and only 20% would feel comfortable with the idea of using a driverless taxi. Many feel concerned about how data would be used.
The complexity created by potentially conflicting laws risks fuelling such consumer concerns. Those party to realising the goal to position the UK as a global leader in the development and adoption of driverless vehicle technology have an important role to play in bringing the consumer on board.
Just as customer-centric business models are likely to underpin the success of the future of transport, there must be a focus now on communication with citizens.