The law governing Highly Automated Road Passenger Services (HARPS) cannot be one-size-fits-all, because that’d risk favouring one type of vehicle over another.
The Law Commission of England and Wales, along with the Scottish Law Commission, has set out its ideas for regulation of the industry, from small, low-speed pods to full size buses.
They propose licence applicants will need to demonstrate certain operator requirements including having a suitable transport manager to oversee operations, but these must be flexible enough to apply to the complexity of CAVs and the different use cases of HARPS and will take into account the size of the fleets.
It adds regulatory framework enables data to be responsibly and equitably shared between operators, authorities and insurers when required, particularly by reporting untoward events. This will be crucial for safety management, establishing liability and identifying trends and patterns in the technology.
The report stresses these vehicles could help society in a number of ways, reducing accidents, improving network performance, increasing social inclusivity and reducing the need for car parking.