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Automated Vehicle Bill receives Royal Assent

Expert comment from Professor Siddartha Khastgir, Head of Safe Autonomy at WMG, University of Warwick.

‘‘I am thrilled that the Automated Vehicle (AV) Bill has received Royal Assent today. The Bill (now Act) has laid a sound regulatory foundation for the AV industry in the UK. This is a first but important step to introducing AVs safely to the UK’s roads.

"I support the government’s ambition that AVs should be as safe as a careful and competent human driver; we therefore, urge the government to undertake swift work on the secondary legislation with a more robust focus and detailed definition of the performance requirements, keeping safety as our highest priority going forward. This will also provide certainty and clarity for technology developers and the AV industry. WMG will continue to work with the UK’s policymakers and provide research evidence to underpin AV policies, including the secondary legislation.

“At WMG, we have also been advocating for ‘informed safety’, which means that users understand the limitations and capabilities of the technology and can use AVs within this safety limit. I am glad that the Act has a strong focus on tackling misleading marketing of AVs. Information about self-driving vehicles should be communicated precisely and transparently to the public so everyone feels safe and confident when engaging with AVs. The public is core to this technology: if they don’t trust it, they will never use it.

“To bring the public on this self-driving journey and bridge the knowledge gap, the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education United Kingdom (PAVE UK) was co-founded earlier this year by WMG, the Department for Transport, the Department for Business and Trade, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and Transport for West Midlands to deliver accurate and inclusive public awareness and education programmes on self-driving technology.

“WMG will continue to work closely with the government and the eco-system to help set strong performance requirements, ensuring the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles on the UK’s roads, and enabling the country to be the hub of this transformational transport technology.’’