Cross-industry letter calls for Government to keep its commitment to self-driving vehicle legislation

19 December 2022

Posted in Innovation

  • AXA UK, Wayve, ASDA and Microsoft among signatories to the letter which calls on the Government to keep its commitment to legislate self-driving vehicles by 2025
  • The letter has been sent to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport and Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

AXA UK, and 16 other organisations, have today signed a letter to Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister, Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport and Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, calling on the Government to keep its commitment to legislate self-driving vehicles by 2025.

The letter urges the Government to prioritise automated vehicles legislation to secure the benefits that self-driving vehicles could bring to the UK, including reducing road traffic accidents and encouraging investment in technology and science. 

Having been involved in this space for over eight years, AXA continues to support the development of automated vehicles via the APPG on Connected and Automated Mobility. They are also involved in various government-backed automated vehicle projects with the ABI and provide advice on safety, regulation, liability and data.

We were disappointed to see that the Transport Bill has been dropped by the Government, particularly the focus on legislation relating to automated vehicles. 

Automated vehicles would provide significant societal benefits to the UK, including safer, cleaner and more accessible roads as well as helping to build resilience in the face of evolving transport needs. As one of the largest motor insurers, AXA is calling on the Government to demonstrate it recognises the benefits of this next step in transportation technology by making autonomous vehicle legislation a priority for the next parliamentary session.

Claudio Gienal, Chief Executive Officer at AXA UK & Ireland
Claudio Gienal, CEO, AXA UK and Ireland

Letter to the Prime Minister

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

cc: Rt Hon Mark Harper MP, Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary for State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State (Decarbonisation and Technology)

16 December 2022 

Primary Legislation for Automated Vehicles

Dear Prime Minister,

We write from across industry to highlight the benefits of automated vehicles (AVs) to the UK and urge the Government to keep its commitment to legislate for self-driving vehicles by 2025.

The UK has a unique opportunity to be a global leader in AVs. According to the Government’s own figures, the market for AVs will be worth £650bn by 2035, with the UK sector alone estimated to be worth £42bn. The AV industry promises to create 49,000 highly skilled jobs and a further 23,000 indirect jobs. There is an export potential of £11bn by 2035.1

The development of this technology is not only significant in creating economic growth across Britain, but in cementing the country’s position as a world leader in innovation, manufacturing, and entrepreneurship. AVs have the potential to create a whole new industry in the UK, encouraging investment and leveraging Britain’s world-leading science and technology capabilities to transform the future of mobility.

With transport accounting for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions among sectors, AVs will also create significant carbon savings and help the UK on its path to net zero. In addition, they offer huge opportunities to improve road safety and reduce road deaths. Research shows that a shift to AVs could bring a 93% reduction in accidents by 2040. 2 And since road accidents are the leading cause of death among those aged 15-29, many thousands of lives are likely to be saved.

To unlock the transformative benefits of AVs, it is essential the Government keeps its commitment to introduce primary legislation. Otherwise, the UK risks losing out on a key growth opportunity, not only damaging its long-term economic prospects but also its reputation as a place to invest in developing future technologies.

We want to work with the Government to ensure a regulatory framework for AVs is put in place as soon as possible.

Yours Sincerely,

Claudio Gienal, CEO, AXA UK&I
Alex Kendall, Co-Founder and CEO, Wayve
Tim Steiner, CEO, Ocado
Josh Bayliss, CEO, Virgin Group
Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft
Spencer Crawley, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Firstminute Capital
Peter Singleton, Partner and Head of Private Companies, Baillie Gifford
Antony Walker, Deputy CEO, techUK
Gavin Jackson, CEO, Oxbotica
David Ibeson, CEO, Apollo
Prof David Keene, CEO, Aurrigo
Matthew Avery, CEO, Thatcham Research
Mervyn Skeet, Interim Director of General Insurance Policy, Association of British Insurers
Melissa Collett, Executive Director of Professional Standards, Chartered Insurance Institute
Jeff Farrah, Executive Director, Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association
Simon Gregg, Senior Vice President - E-Commerce, ASDA
Ian Howells, Executive Vice President, Honda

1 Connected Places Catapult, ‘Market Summary for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’, 2021. Available

2 Khashayarfard, Mohammad & Nassiri, Habibollah. (2021). Studying the Simultaneous Effect of Autonomous Vehicles and Distracted Driving on Safety at Unsignalized Intersections. Journal of Advanced Transportation. 2021. 1-16. 10.1155/2021/6677010.