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King’s Speech gives the green light for autonomous vehicles

08 November 2023

Following the King’s Speech today, the Government’s intention to introduce legislation underpinning a new legal framework for self-driving vehicles has been reaffirmed. As discussed in our previous update, a bill was first announced in the May 2022 Queen’s Speech, however was never presented to Parliament. 

The aim of the Automated Vehicles Bill, one of the 21 bills announced, is to provide certainty and confidence to the sector which is much needed to effectively develop the technology in the UK. 

The Bill should enable the deployment of self-driving vehicles and allow for the growth of the automotive sector in the UK. It should cover aspects of legal liability and include for example clarification as to corporate and personal liability for those who develop and operate self-driving vehicles on roads in Great Britain. 

It is hoped this push for autonomous vehicles in the UK will not only generate economic opportunities, but also lead the way towards a greener future. 

The Bill has implications for those engaged in the manufacture and in due course the operation of self-driving vehicles. It will also be of interest to insurers of those involved in such activities.  

Our automotive sector team will be analysing the Bill closely once it is published with a view to understanding what the future holds for those who develop and operate vehicles, both in terms of the safety framework and potential for legal liability, as well as the commercial opportunities presented by this commitment to legislation.

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Simrit Mann

Trainee Solicitor

simrit.mann@brownejacobson.com

+44 (0)330 045 2876

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