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Posted in Regulatory and legislative updates, UK

UK: Parliament opens an inquiry into the Government’s work on driverless cars

The Government consultation on changes to liability and insurance cover to accommodate automated car technologies closed recently. Barely a week later, the House of Lords has launched its own inquiry into driverless vehicles.

The Science and Technology Committee of the House of Lords proposes to examine what the Government is doing to support the development of driverless vehicles in the UK. The Lords has called for written evidence “from as wide an audience as possible” by 26 October, with oral evidence to follow at a later date.

The Lords’ inquiry will go beyond the scope of the recent Government consultation. Parliament will – like the Government – consider responses to whether further changes are need to “insurance, regulation and legislation in the UK”, but will also ask very broad questions about the potential applications, benefits, disadvantages and market opportunities for autonomous vehicle technologies.

This is an opportunity for manufacturers, insurers and road users to potentially influence the approach the Government takes to driving innovative vehicle technologies forward. Hogan Lovells are well placed to assist you with any response you may wish to make or otherwise to assist you in approaching or lobbying Government.

You can read more about the scope of the Government’s consultation in our blog post.

In related news, the Association of British Insurers has responded to the consultation in broadly positive terms. The ABI agrees with much of the Government’s proposal, although differs in one key respect: the ABI considers the extension of product liability insurance to cover fully automated driving to be inappropriate. The ABI’s response argues that what it considers flaws in product liability insurance mean that it would be better to extend existing motor insurance instead.