SMMT warns of ramifications if autonomous vehicle legislation delayed

The deployment of self-driving cars on the UK’s roads will be delayed by around four years unless legislation is passed before the next general election, the SMMT has warned.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said the UK can “ill afford” a hold-up in the technology being rolled out, says the Express & Star. The Automated Vehicles Bill to create a set of laws for using autonomous vehicles was introduced into Parliament in November and will undergo further scrutiny at committee stage from March 19.

Speaking at an SMMT conference in Westminster on Thursday, Mr Hawes said: “Even if the current timetable is met, following the Bill’s second reading in the House of Commons in early March, we are unlikely to see self-driving vehicles on British roads until at least 2026.

“But should the legislation be delayed until after the general election, that date is likely to be nearer to 2030, putting the UK at a significant disadvantage. Rival markets in the EU and US already have regulatory frameworks in place and have captured the lead, deploying the tech on public roads now – thus making the need for our own legislation even more urgent.”


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