The Department of transport have announced that a major consultation to help pave the way for automated cars to be used on British roads is being launched. They invite all drivers to have their say.
They propose rules changes; so automated vehicles(driverless technology) can be insured for use on the roads.
In addition, the Highway code and regulations will need to be altered so advanced driver assistance systems that change lanes on the motorway and park the vehicle by remote can be used safely.
The government next month are launching a competition for £30 million from the Intelligent Mobility Fund, for research and development of innovative connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.
The government wants Britain to lead the way globally in embracing the safe development of driverless technology.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“Driverless car technology will revolutionise the way we travel and deliver better journeys.
Britain is leading the way but I want everyone to have the chance to have a say on how we embrace and use these technologies.
Our roads are already some of the safest in the world and increasing advanced driver assist and driverless technologies have the potential to help cut the number of accidents further.”
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“Britain’s auto industry has always been at the forefront of innovation and research. This additional £30 million of funding for reseach and development (R&D) is a further sign of our commitment to making sure we’re creating opportunities for UK businesses to thrive and attract global investment in world-class technology.”
It is expected that cars with advanced driver assistance features to be on sale in Britain in the next 2 to 4 years with automated and driverless vehicles on the roads any time from the mid-2020s onwards.
The idea behind advanced driver assistance systems and ‘self-driving’ technologies are to transform travel and help deliver safer road journeys across the world.
The consultation on the 2 changes has been underway from the 11th of July 2016 and will last for 9 weeks.
Department of transport proposals are:
Changes to the ‘Highway code’ and regulations to support the safe use of remote control parking and motorway assist features.
insurance law will also be changed so that, motorists who have handed control to their ‘self-driving’ cars are insured properly.
The proposed changes to insurance will be brought forward in the Modern Transport Bill. Motor insurance will be extended to cover product liability for automated vehicles.
James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said:
“The ABI’s Automated Driving Insurer Group has been engaged in constructive and productive discussions with the DfT for many months now so it is good to see the importance of insurance to the vehicles of the future recognised within this consultation. The development of automated driving will revolutionise motoring, potentially as important a road safety innovation as the seatbelt. Insurers strongly support the Government’s ambition of making the UK a world leader in this technology and believe the insurance industry has a key role in helping give consumers confidence in using these vehicles when they become more widely available.”
The Department of transport say that the driver’s insurer will still pay out in the normal way so road accident victims are promptly reimbursed, but change will be that the insurer will then be able to claim the money back from the car company if the vehicle is deemed to be at fault.