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UK regulators pass bill to allow self-driving vehicles on public roads by 2026
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May 20, 2024
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UK regulators pass bill to allow self-driving vehicles on public roads by 2026

Regulation/policy

  • The UK Government has passed the Automated Vehicles Act, which permits self-driving vehicles on public roads by 2026. The new law mandates autonomous vehicles to meet or exceed the safety standards of a competent human driver and undergo strict safety assessments before deployment. It aims to minimize road incidents related to common issues like drunk driving and fatigue.

  • The Act also establishes a legal framework for the liability of autonomous vehicles, ensuring that drivers are not held responsible while the vehicle operates in self-driving mode. This responsibility shifts to manufacturers, software developers, and insurance providers.

  • Analyst QuickTake: Trials of self-driving technology including applications such as autonomous last-mile delivery, conducted by UK companies Wayve and Oxa, already illustrate the potential benefits of this technology, including increased mobility, enhanced accessibility, and better connectivity, especially in rural areas. Today’s passing of the bill would help such companies to scale their deployments country-wide.

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