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Britain says automakers will be liable for self-driving crashes, not owners

Published Nov 07, 2023 11:18AM ET
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© Reuters. Britain says automakers will be liable for self-driving crashes, not owners
 
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The British government announced on Tuesday that, under a framework for advancing autonomous vehicles (AV), it would hold the manufacturers of self-driving cars legally responsible for any accidents, rather than the owners. A decision embraced by both insurance companies and AV startups.

King Charles outlined the government's legislative plan for the upcoming parliamentary session, revealing that an Automated Vehicles Bill would be introduced, following last year's unfulfilled promise.

"My ministers will introduce new legal frameworks to support the safe commercial development of emerging industries, such as self-driving vehicles," Charles said in a speech.

Insurer AXA’s head of UK and Ireland operations, Tara Foley said this would add "multiple benefits for the UK economy, road safety and green jobs".

"For insurers, it also provides crucial clarity for establishing liability for self-driving," Foley added.

According to the government, the bill is designed to safeguard users and enhance safety within the AV industry.

"While the vehicle is driving itself, a company rather than an individual will be responsible for the way it drives," the government said.

Experts in the self-driving industry emphasize the importance of national regulatory frameworks and the establishment of legal liability as vital components for gaining public trust in autonomous vehicles, as well as for insurers to offer adequate coverage.

The proposed bill aims to introduce procedures for probing incidents and enhancing the safety infrastructure, alongside defining the criteria for classifying a vehicle as a self-driving car.

Britain says automakers will be liable for self-driving crashes, not owners
 

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Metl Mann
Metl Mann Nov 07, 2023 11:25AM ET
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