Automotive industry leaders have called for the UK Government to deliver its regulatory framework on self-driving cars by 2025.
David Wong, senior technology and innovation manager at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said today it would be extremely disappointing not having primary legislation this parliamentary session.
“It’s very important that the government must not let the regulatory timetable slip, pursuing the completion of regulatory reforms by 2025,” Wong told the Commons’ transport select committee.
Backed by a £100m investment, the new legislation will see the rollout of vehicles with self-driving features within the next three years.
The regulation was announced in August but has yet to be translated into law.
The government also needs to keep its word if it doesn’t want to lag too behind competitors such as the EU.
The bloc passed a law on automated driving systems for small series cars this summer, with plans to extend it in 2024.
Within the EU, Germany is spearheading the technological advance as it initially passed laws in 2017.
Berlin’s government also allowed for the deployment of “robo-taxi” as well as ride hailing and delivery services using automated vehicles in May this year.
“It’s important that we pursue regulatory reforms at pace to ensure that we keep up with other jurisdictions,” the technology manager added.
Even though automated vehicles will make up 40 per cent of all the 40.5 million cars on UK roads by 2035, manually driven vehicles will not disappear anytime soon.
“It will be a long time where there’ll be coexistence between automated vehicles and manually driven vehicles,” Wong explained.
According to RAC’s chief executive Steve Gooding – who appeared in front of MPs alongside Wong – cars will not be completely autonomous, as there will only be some degree of automation.
“It’s just worth reflecting that in that 40 per cent there will be a lot of vehicles with a degree of automation in them, but it will only work in certain parts of the trip you’re making and quite possibly only work if you remember to turn it on,” Gooding commented.
City A.M. has approached the DfT for comment.