IMI calls for licensing

Following the publication of the Driverless Car Consultation, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has committed to submit its recommendations regarding the technical competency of those servicing and repairing connected and autonomous vehicles.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said, ‘The introduction of autonomous vehicles on UK roads has the potential to make a huge difference to social inclusion, but clearly there are a number of issues that must be considered for those using such emerging technologies to feel safe and protected – physically and financially. At the IMI, we believe one of the key issues is the skills and credibility of those working on the vehicles.

‘Currently anyone can work on a vehicle – servicing or repairing it – without any form of license. And this already presents a risk to motorists – how can they be sure that their vehicle has been serviced or repaired to the right standard? This risk will be heightened if the testing of the technical competency of those working on autonomous vehicles isn’t properly assessed on an on-going basis.

‘As with many of the advances in motoring technology such as anti-collision sensors and auto braking, autonomous vehicles will rely on the accuracy of sensors for lane changing and automated parking. The next generation of autonomous vehicles will also rely even more heavily on computer technology – and owners will want the confidence that the data at the heart of these systems can’t be stolen or hacked.

‘The IMI will be submitting detailed recommendations to the Department for Transport’s consultation to ensure that these issues are carefully considered and addressed. In particular, we will be advocating licensing of all those working on autonomous vehicles, in the same way that we are already lobbying government to adopt licensing of those working on electric vehicles.’