Industry calls on the Government to ensure Transport Bill delivers benefits of self-driving technology

15 June 2022

Posted in Innovation

  • The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Connected and Automated Mobility welcomes Government commitment to bring legislation on self-driving vehicles
  • Industry leaders have voiced their ‘red lines’ for the Transport Bill

Ben Everitt, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM), and industry experts welcome the confirmation that self-driving vehicles will be included in the upcoming Transport Bill. 

Self-driving technology will be life-changing; a huge transport revolution and the biggest overhaul since the invention of the modern-day car. The way people move around and interact with their communities, as well as the distribution of goods and freight will radically change, bringing greater mobility in a cleaner, greener and safer way.

The announcement represents a significant step forward for the sector which has been calling for primary legislation for several years. Experts have set out their ‘red lines’ to the Government to ensure self-driving vehicles improve road safety, increase connectivity for the local community and make our roads cleaner and more efficient.

Expert recommended ‘red lines’:

  • Legislation must act as an enabler for the rollout of CAM technology, not a blocker. To achieve this, it will require a non-prescriptive and flexible regulatory framework that allows use cases to advance and innovate.
  • A statutory definition of self-driving must be established to distinguish this technology from assisted driving.
  • Clear lines of liability, accountability and responsibility for road safety must be established, in line with the Law Commission’s recommendations.
  • Establish minimum standards for data sharing and handling to ensure transparency and effective governance are embedded throughout the process.
  • Ensure the principle of interoperability is at the heart of the framework to realise the huge potential for the UK to export such a best-in-class regulatory model internationally.
  • Introduce regulatory sandboxes to allow businesses to test innovative use cases in the market with real consumers.
  • Develop a communications toolkit to accompany future legislation so that messaging can be easily disseminated to consumers to help assuage concerns around public acceptability.

The APPG, which was set up with support from insurer AXA UK, law firm Burges Salmon and transport consultancy WSP, looks forward to working with Government to support the safe deployment of self-driving technologies on the UK’s roads.

Ben Everitt MP, Chair of the Connected and Automated Mobility APPG

The CAM APPG was delighted to discuss how the upcoming Transport Bill can deliver the benefits of autonomous technology to local communities up and down the country. 

As we await the Government’s response to the Law Commission of England and Wales review into self-driving vehicles and the call for evidence on the future of connected and automated mobility in the UK, the APPG will continue 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, Chair at the Connected and Automated Mobility APPG
Dougie Barnett, Customer Risk Management Director, AXA UK

Self-driving technology could pave the way for safer roads, increased mobility and productivity and cleaner transport. However, alongside the legislation the Government must work with the industry to ensure there is no public confusion surrounding autonomous vehicles and place more emphasis on educating the public on how to use and interact with these vehicles safely.

Dougie Barnett, Customer Risk Management Director at AXA UK
Giles Perkins, Head of Profession, Future Mobility at WSP

The forthcoming Transport Bill promises to unlock the potential that autonomous mobility provides. We need to ensure the Bill acts as a catalyst to enable use cases and applications that really deliver benefits for people, communities and businesses. This must happen not only in our cities but the areas surrounding them and, importantly, rural geographies which often get overlooked.

Giles Perkins, Head of Profession, Future Mobility at WSP
Lucy Pelger, Partner, Burges Salmon LLP

It’s vital that legislation is an enabler to self-driving technology. The right legislative framework will not only advance the UK’s position in the global CAM market but will importantly support in building the public’s trust and confidence in CAM technology. We look forward to the Government’s response to the Law Commissions’ recommendations.

Lucy Pelger, Partner at Burges Salmon LLP