In a newly published positioning paper, ‘UK Competitiveness in Autonomous Vehicles Technology’, commissioned by techUK’s Intelligent Mobility and Transport Group, the UK Government is urged to create a new regulatory framework allowing greater AV testing and innovation.
The UK has currently opted for a slower and more cautious policy development process in AV when compared with some EU member states and the US, with Germany and France currently leading in autonomous vehicles regulation.
According to the paper, the benefits of great autonomous vehicles adoption would lead to:
- Improved road safety – 85% of collisions on UK roads are caused by human factors
- Reduced emissions in the road to net-zero
- Improved mobility
- Facilitated transportation of goods
- Greater technology innovation
While the UK ‘s more cautious approach will provide an opportunity for the government to learn lessons from other regulators as it seeks to determine and implement its own legislative and regulatory framework, the paper says that if the UK wishes to keep pace with the EU and US, greater urgency is required if the UK is to remain at the technical vanguard.
The paper calls for the setting of a timeline for implementation, as has been done in other countries, with early engagement of stakeholders as to direction and intent.
Consistent with the Government’s vision for Global Britain, the paper concludes that government should set out a clear timeline for deployment and work towards the completion of a legal and regulatory framework to meet it in consultation with the AV community. The framework should put security, flexibility, and an ambition to build public confidence in this technology at its core.
Matthew Evans, director of Markets, techUK said: “Establishing a progressive legal framework for the AV market in the UK is the first step towards a safe and equitable transport future. Built on the ideals of fair and open competition, the UK AV market could mature into a world-leading example that adjacent regions will aim to emulate.
“techUK has a proud history of championing exciting and innovative new tech. Autonomous Vehicle technology is one of the most important trends to come out of transport in years, with the potential to change the sector for good.”