Thatcham Research backs government’s safety-first approach to driverless vehicles

The Chief Executive of automotive risk intelligence specialists Thatcham Research is welcoming the Government’s plans and funding for the development of driverless vehicles and their introduction onto our streets.

Jonathan Hewett says this marks another step closer to self-driving vehicles on UK roads, ensuring their safe integration and highlighting the positive impact that this technology can have on road safety and that Thatcham fully supports this development and the safety assurances recommended in the proposal.

His full statement reads:

“We welcome the breadth of the Government’s ambition in positioning the UK as a centre for self-driving innovation, along with the safety-first approach it has laid out.

“Ensuring that safe adoption is at the centre of its plans will play a pivotal role in realising the societal benefits of self-driving technology.

“The cars we drive are changing at an unprecedented rate. But the automotive industry is still at the lower end of a steep learning curve. It’s vital that we balance the risk with the opportunity, gathering intelligence on the different use cases for the technology and in turn understanding what it means for all road users.

“All the ingredients are present for the UK to become a global leader in this space. However, it is paramount that we make sense of the data these vehicles will provide, to inform risk and ultimately pave the way for safe adoption.

“Any challenges encountered by vehicles with self-driving capability will be heavily scrutinised. Complete clarity around the driver’s legal responsibilities, along with how the technology is marketed, how the dealer describes systems when handing over the keys and how the self-driving system itself communicates with the driver, will play its part too.

“As such, collaboration between Government, regulators, carmakers and the insurance industry will be essential to creating a safe system for adoption and the age of humankind interacting with autonomous technology.”

(Picture – Thatcham)


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