The UK to review legislation to prepare for self-driving vehicles

The UK government, through Roads Minister Jesse Norman, announced that it had commissioned a review of driving laws ‘to ensure that the UK remains one of the best places in the world to develop, test and drive self-driving vehicles’. The Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission will conduct a three-year review into existing driving legislation, to identify ‘any legal obstacles to the widespread introduction of self-driving vehicles and highlight the need for regulatory reforms’. Some of the questions to be examined as part of the review include: who is the ‘driver’ or responsible person; how to allocate civil and criminal responsibility where there is some shared control in a human-machine interface; the role of automated vehicles within public transport networks and emerging platforms for on-demand passenger transport, car sharing and new business models providing mobility as a service; whether there is a need for new criminal offences to deal with novel types of conduct and interference; and what is the impact on other road users and how they can be protected from risk.