Under the new rules, drivers of fully autonomous vehicles are not responsible for collisions

Under the new highway code update proposed by the government on April 20, anyone using a fully self-driving car will not be held responsible for the crash.

However, the driver must be ready to regain control when requested by the vehicle. Early forms of automation on the market are ready to enter the market by the end of next year.


With a new revision of the highway code, in a new section of self-driving cars, “While the self-driving car is driving itself, you are not responsible for how it drives, pay attention to the road. You don’t have to pay, but you have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions if it is appropriate to use the self-driving feature. “

It was also announced that TV viewing in self-driving cars will be permitted.

But so far, fully self-driving cars are a future technology. Fully automated or “self-driving” vehicles are not currently on sale in the UK. However, some are equipped with an autopilot system and advanced driver assistance functions.

The US Department of Transportation evaluates the self-propelled ability of vehicles from Level 0 (none) to Level 5 (fully autonomous). For example, both the Tesla Autopilot and Cadillac (General Motors) Supercruise systems are Level 2 qualified. Level 5 represents a futuristic scenario where the vehicle does not need a driver to go anywhere. Full automation does not yet exist.

Even so, self-driving cars can theoretically mean the end of the driver. It’s by Tesla’s boss, Elon Musk.

“It’s like an elevator. They once had an elevator operator, and then we developed some simple circuits that would allow the elevator to just automatically come to the floor where you are. “The car will be exactly like that,” Musk told NVidia co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang at the technology company’s annual developer conference in 2015. As reported by Verge.

Too dangerous

Musk suggested that driving a car could be illegal. “It’s too dangerous. You can’t hire someone to drive a two-tonn death machine,” he said.

This year Data and analytics company Global Data Production of fully autonomous vehicles (Level 5) will begin around 2030, and it is predicted that approximately 1 million Level 5 vehicles will be produced in 2036.

“As technology continues to evolve and more information is generated, we will see a clearer time frame for the deployment of true self-driving cars. This process is still relatively early, but insurers You’ll be delighted to see the roads of self-driving cars slowly coming to the fore, “Global Data wrote.

Last year, the British government became the first country to announce restrictions on the use of self-driving cars at low speeds on highways. DfT has announced that it will enable hands-free driving in vehicles equipped with lane keeping technology. This is a feature. Found in today’s new car, a crowded highway.

Fully self-driving cars are a few years away, but they will significantly change the nature of car insurance, especially in the way insurers assess risk and set premiums.

An estimated 90% of road accidents are due to human error: “If technology can be developed in the right way, roads can be made safer for everyone,” a spokesman for the British Insurance Association (ABI) said. I told the Epoch Times that there was.

“If an autonomous vehicle in autonomous driving mode is involved in an accident, the victim of an innocent third party, including the driver and the responsible user, has the right to charge the vehicle insurance company for the autonomous vehicle. He is responsible for certain cases, even if any mistakes are found in the use or maintenance of the system, “he said.

He added that the insurance company has the right to make a claim against the responsible party in the event of negligence.

For example, will the insurance company continue to be liable if it is injured because it ignores the brake prompt of a self-driving car? And what if the software is flawed?

Major changes

“The insurance industry is ready to work with governments and automakers to implement the right framework for data sharing, which is very important in determining responsibility and understanding the cause of an incident. It’s important, “he said.

Daniel West, a partner at Horwich Farrely and head of product liability, told trade magazines. Insurance business UK In the light of Wednesday’s announcement, auto insurers can no longer operate the “business as usual” mindset and should expect major changes in the future.

“As technology advances and users learn more about their ability to move away from different types of activities, the law is likely to adapt,” West said. “This is a hot topic, especially for insurance companies and legal professionals.”

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist who covers stories from a wide range of countries with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech.