Trudy Harrison MP confirms legislation to ensure the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles

Minister for Transport confirms legislation will be brought forward to ensure safe deployment of self-driving vehicles across UK

09 March 2022
  • The Minister confirmed Government will bring forward primary legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows, hailing automated mobility as the most exciting transport development in decades.
  • Ms Harrison addressed the fifth meeting of the APPG for Connected and Automated Mobility, which focused on the Law Commissions’ Review on automated vehicles.
  • Industry experts joined to discuss the implications of the Review on the future development, deployment and public acceptability of automated vehicles.

 

On Wednesday 2 March, Minister for Transport Trudy Harrison MP gave a keynote speech to the fifth meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM), which saw the Government respond to the Law Commission of England & Wales and the Scottish Law Commission’s review on automated vehicles for the first time.

 

The Minister set out the UK Government’s priorities on CAM, welcomed the Law Commissions’ final recommendations, and set out the policy programme for automated mobility. She reiterated the Government’s commitment to make the UK the best place to test and develop CAM technology and confirmed Government would bring forward primary legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

 

This milestone follows the long-awaited publication of the Law Commissions’ Review on automated vehicles in January 2022, which provides a framework for the safe roll-out of driverless vehicles across the UK. Law Commissioner Nicholas Paines QC, Lead Lawyer Jessica Uguccioni and Lawyer Connor Champ presented the Law Commissions’ joint recommendations for Government and industry to the APPG, covering crucial issues such as safety assurance, the duty of candour, and wrongful interference.

The meeting was attended by 75 Parliamentary and industry stakeholders. Speaking on the APPG’s expert industry panel were Matthew Avery, Director of Research at Thatcham, Sarah Gates, Head of Public Policy at Wayve AI, David Wong, Senior Technology and Innovation Manager at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and Elizabeth Box, Head of Research at RAC Foundation. All welcomed the Law Commissions’ recommendations, and agreed on the importance of implementing a flexible legislative framework, which prioritises safety and the need to invest in future-proof road infrastructure as well as consumer education to support the successful development and deployment of automated vehicles.

The APPG has been established with support from AXA UK and Burges Salmon to ensure that the UK continues the pioneering work of industry and Government in researching and developing connected and automated mobility.

Commenting during the meeting, Minister for Transport, Trudy Harrison MP said:

 

"Self-driving vehicles are the most exciting innovation for transport in decades. They will transform our future, improving people’s lives, and improve the country’s productivity. That is why we are investing £400 million to make the UK one of the best and most open places in the world to test self-driving vehicles."

 

"It’s a really crucial time for Connected and Automated mobility. Our reputation in regulatory frameworks is gold standard. We need to continue with that. The Law Commission’s report is welcomed and is a significant step forward to building a robust framework that will allow the safe rollout of driverless vehicles across the UK and support the Government’s ambition to create opportunities and improve productivity."

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