Transport Committee wants strategy for self-driving cars

Highways Reporters

The Transport Select Committee has called on the Department for Transport (DfT) to make sure it has the correct strategy in place ahead of the introduction of self-driving cars on the UK’s road network.

Launching a report on Motoring of the Future today (6 March 2015), Louise Ellman MP, chair of Transport Committee, said: “Motoring is being transformed by new materials, new fuels and information technology. The government must do more to ensure that people and businesses in the UK benefit from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Whilst the committee recognises that new automotive technologies could unblock congested highways, deliver a step change in road safety and provide the basis for rapid industrial growth, it has called on the DfT to develop a comprehensive strategy that includes:

  • Clarify how the introduction of self-driving cars will affect the liabilities of drivers, manufacturers and insurers

  • Positively engage in setting European and international standards that will help UK manufacturers develop products suitable for export

  • Ask the Information Commissioner to update guidelines on the collection, access and use of vehicle data

  • Use data on driver behaviour held by the insurance industry and others to inform policy making and improve road safety.

The committee chair added: "The public need to be sure that new types of vehicles are safe to travel on our roads. The government must do more to prepare for a transition period where manual, semi-autonomous and driverless vehicles will share UK roads. Transport Ministers must explain how different types of vehicles will be certified and tested, how drivers will be trained and how driving standards will be updated, monitored and enforced."

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