The government has commissioned a review of driving laws in preparation for the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles.
Roads minister Jesse Norman announced this week a three-year review that will examine legal obstacles to the introduction of driverless cars.
The government has already stated its aim for the country to be a hotbed of self-driving vehicle development, and it hopes the study will pave the way for more manufacturers to develop their new autonomous systems in the UK.
According to the Department for Transport, the review aims to answer questions including who is the ‘driver’ or person responsible for a driverless car, how to protect road users from the risks of autonomous vehicles, and whether there is a need for new criminal offences to deal with new types of conduct and interference.
Norman, who is the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, 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.’
Law commissioner Nicholas Paines QC added: ‘British roads are already among the safest in the world and automated vehicles have the potential to make them even safer – provided our laws are ready for them.
‘We’ll now start consulting widely on how the law should work with this new technology and develop reforms which enable the use of self-driving vehicles in the years to come.’