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Pathway to driverless cars – the proposals for automated vehicles technologies

14 July 2016
A consultation commenced this week which looks at the pathway to driverless cars, seeking responses from the industry by Friday 9 September 2016.

The consultation sets out three main areas for emerging technologies which include remote parking, motorway lane assist functions and HGV platooning and recommends that motor insurers extend their policies to cover product liability for the vehicle itself as compulsory risks. Further, there is a recommendation that the policy extends to any injury sustained by the not at fault driver, where an accident is caused by their own vehicle.

Whilst some manufacturers have commented that they may provide cover for their products, aligning cover with the vehicle owner is the preferred choice. A first party risk approach was considered, but appears to have been discounted at this stage on the basis that at fault insurers will not immediately be able to directly control claims costs, albeit views are also sought upon that concept.

To facilitate change, amendments are considered to the Highway Code concerning driver distractions and driving with hands on the steering wheel as well as changes to the Road Vehicle (Construction and Use Regulations).

The Government are keen to facilitate testing and introduction of emerging technology. They recommend gradual change to regulation as technology moves from assistive to fully automated driving.

We will be providing a consultation response, so please do let us have any views or comments that you would like us to consider in our response.

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