All-Party Parliamentary Group launches to promote safe deployment of self-driving technologies

27 January 2021

Posted in Innovation

  • The APPG on Connected and Automated Mobility will work closely with Parliament to advise on how self-driving technologies can be deployed effectively and safely across the UK
  • It is chaired by Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, an area where many transport innovations have been trialled
  • It is supported by insurer AXA and law firm Burges Salmon

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Connected and Automated Mobility launched today to promote and support the safe deployment of self-driving technologies on UK roads.

Chaired by Milton Keynes North MP Ben Everitt, the cross-party group will provide a forum for parliamentarians, industry and academia to discuss next steps in Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM).

Supported by insurer AXA and independent UK law firm Burges Salmon, the Group aims to ensure that the UK continues its pioneering work on connected and self-driving technologies at a pivotal moment for how these technologies are deployed on UK roads. The group also hopes to fill a gap in the scope of existing APPGs. In 2019, the APPG for Electric and Automated Vehicles decided to focus solely on electric vehicles.

This new APPG believes firmly that CAM technology has strong potential to improve road safety and provide increased mobility for everyone, including people with disabilities. It wants to shape the policy agenda to secure the UK at the forefront of the global CAM market, ensuring the UK economy can reap the rewards.

Its Chair Ben Everitt is the MP for Milton Keynes North, a leading hub for the testing and trialling of many transport innovations, from connected vehicles to e-scooters. Its Vice-Chair Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, served as a member of the Transport Select Committee and as a Minister at the Department for Transport.

The APPG on Connected and Automated Mobility will work closely with Parliament to advise on how connected and self-driving technologies can be deployed effectively and safely across the UK. It will leverage collective expertise to address issues related to investment, regulation, data and consumer education:

  • Funding must continue. The UK is recognised as a global leader in CAM, largely due to the £400 million invested by Government and industry in recent years. Any slowing of investment now will result in the UK importing this technology as a tech taker rather than a tech maker.
  • Safety is paramount. The underpinning legal and regulatory framework must be fit for purpose. The Group will be informed by and will build upon the world-leading work currently being undertaken by the Law Commission of England & Wales and the Scottish Law Commission as part of their three-year review of the legal framework for automated vehicles.
  • Access to data is needed. Creating data standards and enabling data sharing is integral to protecting safety while harnessing the benefits of CAM on UK roads. This is fundamental to ensuring the connectivity and ultimately the success of CAM.
  • Consumer education is crucial. Government, road safety agencies, charities and the relevant industry stakeholders must engage in open and collaborative dialogue to explore the societal and economic benefits of CAM.

“I am delighted to be coming together with Parliamentary colleagues from across the political spectrum to lead the conversation on how we can effectively and safely deploy self-driving vehicles on the UK’s roads. I believe that new modes of automated mobility have great potential to improve road safety and provide new transport options for people right across society. If the UK can cement its status as a world leader in these technologies, that will also bring significant economic rewards.

“My own constituency in Milton Keynes has emerged as a leading hub for testing and trialling many transport innovations, from connected vehicles to e-scooters. This group will bring together industry experts, academics and policymakers to advise on how we can build on the great progress made to date and ensure that the whole country is able to benefit from these innovative technologies.”

Ben Everitt, MP for Milton Keynes North and Chair of the APPG on Connected and Automated Mobility