UK self-driving car insurance rules outlined by government

Companies will need to offer two types of protection to vehicle owners

Click to follow
The Independent Tech

Insurance companies will need to offer two types of protection for self-driving cars in the UK, to cover times when the vehicle is driving itself and times when a human driver is in control, according to government proposals.

The plans, which are detailed in the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill, enable drivers involved in an accident to claim compensation if the incident took place when their car was driving autonomously.

Under the rules, insurers would be able to try to recover their costs from the vehicle manufacturers.

However, the draft bill also flags up two exemptions.

Drivers involved in an accident while the vehicle’s self-driving system was in control would not be covered if they’d made unauthorised changes to its software or failed to install an update. 

There are multiple levels of vehicle automation, and the proposals state that the Department of Transport will be tasked with determining what classifies a self-driving car.

“Putting the United Kingdom at the forefront of the most modern transport revolution will create new jobs and fuel economic growth around the country,” it reads.

The bill also outlines plans requiring petrol stations and large retailers to offer electric power charging points, as well as to publish details of their prices, locations and opening hours.

It says that charging point operators will have to make equipment compatible with as wide a range of cars as possible too, and ensure its protection from hackers.