UK has introduced new insurance rules for self-driving cars and measures to improve provision of electric vehicle charge points, as part of the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill.
The measures employed are hoped to help the UK to become a world leader in these technologies by breaking down some of the barriers that could limit companies from testing them here.
Measures around insurance for self-driving cars will ensure better protection – a single insurance product for automated vehicles will now be able to cover both the motorist when they are driving, as well as the car when it is in automated mode. This will mean innocent victims involved in a collision with an automated vehicle will have quick and easy access to compensation.
Self-driving vehicles will allow the driver to hand full control and responsibility to the vehicle when technologies are turned on.
The measures follow a consultation by the Department for Transport on the issue of insurance for self-driving cars that closed in September 2016. The Secretary of State will be given the power to classify which vehicles are ‘automated’ and subject to the new insurance requirement.
Other measures set out in the Bill will mean easier access to infrastructure for electric vehicles. They could also ensure the right infrastructure is in place for the growing market for electric vehicles.
Motorway services and large fuel retailers could be made to provide electric charge points and hydrogen refuelling stations under planned new laws.
The measures could also make sure data about the location and availability of charging stations is openly available, and make it easier to use the different networks which are available. They follow a public consultation on measures to improve charging infrastructure.
The bill will also introduce a stronger legal framework for diversionary courses – also known as speed awareness courses. These are police-run educational courses for those charged with minor motoring offences, as a voluntary alternative to a fixed penalty fine and points on their licence. The new statutory regime will ensure there is greater local accountability and financial transparency over their operation, and allow for a cap on the fees charged.