Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

October 18, 2017

The government has brought forward its proposals to
determine some aspects of liability in relation to automated vehicles and ‘enable
drivers of automated cars to be insured on UK roads’.

Part 1 of the Automated
and Electric Vehicles Bill
is concerned with ‘Automated vehicles: Liability
of insurers etc’. An ‘automated vehicle’ will be defined as a vehicle on a list
of vehicles which the Secretary of State is required to maintain (cls 1(4) and
7(2)); the list should include all vehicles likely to be used in Great Britain which
‘in the Secretary of State’s opinion [are] designed or adapted to be capable,
in at least some circumstances or situations, of safely driving themselves’. Part
1 includes proposals affecting:

  • Liability of insurers etc where
    accident caused by automated vehicle (cl 2)
  • Contributory negligence etc (cl 3)
  •  Accident resulting from unauthorised software
    alterations or failure to update software (cl 4)
  •  Right of insurer etc to claim against
    person responsible for accident (cl 5).

In the interpretation of part 1 (cl 7), ‘a vehicle is “driving itself” if it is operating
in a mode in which it is not being controlled, and does not need to be monitored,
by an individual

Part 2 of the Bill focuses on enabling the installation of chargepoints
for electric vehicles at all UK motorway services and large petrol retailers.