UK: The House Of Lords Looks To Accelerate Driverless Opportunities For The UK

Last Updated: 27 March 2017
Article by Stuart Young

A report released today by The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has warned that the UK risks missing out on the benefits of driverless vehicles unless urgent government action is taken. The report proposes a range of measures that are designed to broaden the current focus so that work on connected and autonomous vehicles is effective across a number of sectors and not just focused on road vehicles.

The report, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The future? establishes key recommendations surrounding policy as well as investment decisions that should enable the UK to maximise the economic benefits of autonomous vehicles. This includes the establishment of a robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) leadership council to ensure that knowledge and activity is shared across multiple sectors, as well as the improvement of mobile networks to better enable machine to machine (M2M) connectivity and data sharing, both crucial aspects of the driverless experience. The report also states that while guidance on and implementation of strategy should be a governmental priority, state funding should be limited in order to encourage cross-sector investment, especially from technology-based organisations.

The Committee highlighted the need for new road and communications infrastructure. An ideal situation would of course be to redesign the infrastructure of the UK's towns and cities in a way that incorporates the technological capabilities that allow autonomous vehicles (AVs) to operate safely. However, in the absence of a bottomless budget to enhance the country's physical infrastructure, technology will need to be developed to fill the gap, for example by improving in-built components for AVs such as cameras, sensor chips, in-car networking, roadway mapping and machine learning so that autonomous vehicles are less reliant on the built environment. Indeed, just this week, technology giant Intel has purchased an Israeli driverless-car technology firm called Mobileye for $15.3bn, signalling another technology company's clear commitment to the commercial opportunities represented by AVs.

The introduction of a leadership council with the primary objective of developing strategy for the implementation of AVs actually fits with our earlier recommendations that a regulatory framework designed specifically for the needs of AVs needs to be urgently developed. The current governmental approach - which is cautious and focused on taking one step at a time where regulation and the development of technology is concerned - is of benefit where budgets are limited and the technology is new. However, there is a risk that the regulatory agenda is set by the commercial players in the market and by their speed to market rather than by UK Government and its wider social agenda. This is important because where AVs are concerned there are clear ethical issues relating to safety, mobility and sustainability that have to be addressed within the core foundations of the industry's development - and this can only come from robust regulation. While the leadership council is the right tool with which to facilitate this, there is a vital need for the support of an independent regulator in order to qualify the robustness of any legislation that is developed which we recommended in our 2016 report The Moral Algorithm. Relying on existing legislation just isn't feasible where AVs are concerned: for example the existing GDPR data protection legislation relies heavily on the consent of the consumer which is not adequate in practical terms. For example, were this to apply to the operation of a driverless vehicle, an individual would need to indicate a range of individual preferences before starting any journey. That in itself may discourage take-up and thus delay or even prevent the achievement of the safety benefits of AVs.

To date, there has been a major focus on consumer concerns around AVs and acceptance issues. The Gateway Consortium has implemented an £8m project in Greenwich will trial a series of different use cases for automated vehicle with the aim of better understanding public perception, reaction and engagement with the vehicles. It is hoped that the trials will help introduce automated transport more widely. UK Autodrive is also in the process of compiling a report that looks closely at how to address these perceptions while KPMG produced a 2015 report in conjunction with the SMMT that looked at the potential economic opportunities of AVs. Finally, Gowling WLG has taken a look at the potential investment opportunities for driverless vehicles by surveying 1000 UK investors about their appetite for getting involved in the sector, as well as when they see AVs realistically being on our roads. Although almost two-thirds see this being within the next ten years and 10% are already investing in the sector, an overwhelming majority (70%) require more information in order to make an informed decision - thereby echoing the need for robust regulation and guidance.

Overall, the publication of this report marks another positive step for the future of AVs in the UK and it is reassuring to see that the government takes seriously the urgent need for a tailored regulatory framework that properly protects the ethical as well as commercial aspects of making driverless vehicles a reality.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions