Automotive Experts Weigh in On the UK Automated Vehicles Bill

As the UK stands on the cusp of a transportation revolution, the Automated Vehicles (AV) Bill is stirring considerable debate among industry leaders and the public alike. 

Both the House of Lords and the House of Commons have approved the text of the bill, which is now awaiting Royal Assent to be enacted into law.

At Saxton 4x4, we've gathered insights from various experts to dissect the potential impacts of this groundbreaking legislation on our roads and society.


What is the Automated Vehicles Bill?

The AV Bill aims to pave the way for self-driving cars and public transport services by setting a legal framework that addresses safety standards, liability, and oversight. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the technology behind automated vehicles could prevent up to 53,000 serious accidents and save approximately 3,200 lives by 2040, while also boosting the UK economy by £38 billion.

The bill must become law soon to prevent the UK from falling behind other countries like the USA and Germany, which have already advanced their regulatory frameworks.



Automotive Experts Have Their Say


Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive

"Backing the AV Bill now is fundamental if Britain is to not only develop but deploy self-driving passenger cars and services. We have the foundations, but other major markets are stealing a march, with regulation already in place allowing them to benefit from UK-developed self-driving tech that cannot be rolled out here. Any further delay risks leaving Britain in the slow lane, jeopardising our competitiveness and holding back the significant safety and economic rewards self-driving technology can deliver."


Jonathan Fong, ABI Manager for General Insurance Policy

"We’re delighted the Automated Vehicles Bill will now receive Royal Assent – putting the UK on the road to being a world leader in AV technology. UK motor insurers have long been supporting the development of automated vehicles, including by actively insuring trials to allow the technology to evolve, and by supporting the creation and progress of this Bill at every step of the journey."


Rose Smith - Winston Express Transport

Rose Smith, with over three decades at the helm of Winston Express Transport, advocates strongly for the AV Bill. She believes that automated technology could drastically reduce human error, enhancing safety and efficiency in public transportation. "Adopting such cutting-edge technologies is essential for businesses looking to stay ahead in a field that is changing quickly," says Smith.


Rasmus Barslund - Electrical Engineer, ERideHero

Rasmus Barslund, an engineer with extensive experience in electric vehicles, emphasises the legal clarity the bill provides. "It sets out the legal framework for things like who's responsible if something goes wrong and what safety standards these vehicles need to meet," Barslund notes. He warns that without swift action, the UK risks losing its competitive edge to nations that have already embraced such technologies.


Geoff Cudd -

Geoff Cudd, a consumer advocate, highlights the bill's potential to position the UK as a leader in autonomous transportation technologies. "The passage of the Automated Vehicles Bill represents a pivotal moment for the UK automotive industry," states Cudd. He stresses the importance of swift enactment to leverage the economic and safety benefits fully.


Shawn Miller - Modified Rides

Automotive Blogger, Shawn Miller fully supports the Automated Vehicles Bill: “Its passageis crucial for unlocking safety and economic benefits in the UK's transportation sector."



Concerns and Considerations

While the enthusiasm is palpable, there are concerns. Antony Clark from Plates4Less points out issues raised by the use of ANPR cameras and the need for up-to-date vehicle information. He questions whether automated vehicles will require different registrations to aid identification and responsibility.

ABI’s Jonathan Fong also points out: “While this Bill represents a significant step forward, further consideration is needed to address concerns around safety and cyber security. It’s critical that insurers have access to relevant data in order to support the adoption of this technology.” - Jonathan Fong, ABI Manager for General Insurance Policy


The Road Ahead

As the AV Bill looks set to go through, the voices of industry experts underscore the transformative potential of automated vehicles. However, they also remind us of the complexities involved in integrating such technology into daily life.

The UK has a unique opportunity to lead in this arena, but only if we navigate these legislative and technological challenges wisely. The potential for safer, more efficient roads is immense, and with expert guidance and robust public policy, the UK can indeed steer itself into a new era of transportation.

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