26 jan 22
Fil d'Actus

New report: OEMs to blame if autonomous cars crash

Company car and van drivers should not be responsible if they crash in an autonomous vehicle, according to an influential new report.

The UK government asked the Law Commissions for England, Wales and Scotland to suggest a regulatory framework for self-driving vehicles back in 2018, and their final report was published today.

It concluded that: “The company or body that obtained the authorisation (an Authorised Self-Driving Entity) would face regulatory sanctions if anything goes wrong.”

This means the vehicle manufacturer or software company would be liable for the crash.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “The development of self-driving vehicles… has the potential to revolutionise travel, making every day journeys safer, easier and greener. However, we must ensure we have the right regulations in place, based upon safety and accountability, in order to build public confidence.”

The Law Commissions also recommend new safeguards to prevent vehicle manufacturers from marketing driver assistance features as ‘self-driving’, to avoid the risk of drivers thinking that they do not need to pay attention to the road while a driver assistance feature is in operation.

The UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments now have to decide whether to accept the Commissions’ recommendations and introduce legislation to bring them into effect.

Click for an analysis of the report here.


Image: Shutterstock

Authored by: Jonathan Manning