UK government unveils new automated agenda

The UK government has announced plans which could see automated vehicles on public roads by 2025.

It is creating legislation to support the roll-out of self-driving cars within three years – with some vehicles fitted with the technology being permitted on UK motorways next year.

The government is investing £100m in the plan to fund further research into safety and support services such as home deliveries and shuttle pods, and believes the automated industry could be worth up to £42bn to the UK while creating upwards of 38,000 new jobs.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The benefits of self-driving vehicles have the potential to be huge. Not only can they improve people’s access to education and other vital services, but the industry itself can create tens of thousands of job opportunities throughout the country. Most importantly, they’re expected to make our roads safer by reducing the dangers of driver error in road collisions.

“We want the UK to be at the forefront of developing and using this fantastic technology, and that is why we are investing millions in vital research into safety and setting the legislation to ensure we gain the full benefits that this technology promises.

“The new laws for the safe rollout of self-driving vehicles by 2025 will be brought forward when parliamentary time allows. The legislation will build on existing laws, and state that manufacturers are responsible for the vehicle’s actions when self-driving, meaning a human driver would not be liable for incidents related to driving while the vehicle is in control of driving.”