UK wants to hold automakers responsible for self-driving car accidents

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Britain is due to pass a law regulating autonomous vehicles and including sanctions for companies if something goes wrong when vehicles take over human drivers, two independent government bodies said in a report on Wednesday.

The report by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission recommended the introduction of an “Automated Vehicles Act” and the establishment of “a clear distinction between features that only assist drivers, such as adaptive cruise, and those who are autonomous.”

Governments around the world are struggling to regulate autonomous vehicle technology and the thorny topic of accident liability.

Once an autonomous driving system is activated, “the person in the driver’s seat would no longer be responsible for how the car drives,” the law commissions proposed in the report.

“Instead, the company or body that obtains the authorization will face regulatory sanctions if something goes wrong,” the commissions said.

Britain’s legal commissions review the laws and make recommendations to the government and parliament on suggested reforms. The England and Wales Law Commission says about two-thirds of its reform recommendations have been implemented.

The UK government wants to be at the forefront of deploying autonomous driving technology and the Ministry of Transport predicts that by 2035 around 40% of new cars in the UK will be able to have autonomous driving capabilities, creating up to 38,000 new skilled jobs.

Last year, the government announced that Britain would become the first country to regulate the use of autonomous vehicles at low speeds on highways.

But insurance companies have warned that Britain’s targets could backfire unless automakers and regulators address the limitations of the technology available today.

“Today’s report is a significant step forward as it provides key legal advice and clarity for the safe deployment of vehicles with autonomous driving capabilities on UK roads,” said Matthew Avery, director of research strategy at UK insurance group Thatcham Research, who consulted with legal commissions on the report.

The government’s Center for Autonomous and Connected Vehicles (CCAV) called for the committees to review the legal framework for autonomous vehicles in 2018.

This content was originally created in English.

original version

Reference: CNN Brasil

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