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Government review to consider self-driving car laws

Date: 09 March 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The UK Government has commissioned a three-year review of driving laws, with a view towards the impending arrival of self-driving vehicles.

The review by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission will examine legal obstacles to the widespread introduction of self-driving vehicles and highlight the need for regulatory reforms.

The government says the work is crucial in order to examine how current driving laws can support the next generation of vehicles.

Key aspects will include adjusting traditional laws to reflect the fact that self-driving vehicles will not have a traditional driver or perhaps even a steering wheel, and also some of the criminal offences involved.

Roads minister Jesse Norman said: "The UK is a world leader for self-driving vehicle research and development, and this work marks an important milestone in our continued commitment to the technology.

"With driving technology advancing at an unprecedented rate, it is important that our laws and regulations keep pace so that the UK can remain one of the world leaders in this field."

The project will review and answer key questions including the following:

. Who is the driver or responsible person, as appropriate?. How to allocate civil and criminal responsibility where there is some shared control in a human-machine interface.

. The role of automated vehicles within public transport networks and emerging platforms for on-demand passenger transport, car sharing and new business models providing mobility as a service.

. Whether there is a need for new criminal offences to deal with novel types of conduct and interference.

. What is the impact on other road users and how they can be protected from risk?