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Drivers to remain legally responsible for self-driving cars, says Deloitte

Last month saw Google announce the latest developments in its self-driving car at a conference in California, saying that the vehicle will be built by the firm itself and will not feature pedals or a steering wheel, instead being controlled by a smartphone app. 

In response, David Raistrick, UK automotive leader at Deloitte, said: ‘With the advancements in technology over the past decade, the day when this is a practical possibility has been brought ever closer. We are already seeing elements of this in mainstream vehicles, park assist and radar controlled variable cruise control being two examples. 

‘However, there are clear barriers to a totally driverless car, the most obvious being legislation.  It is still the convention that every moving vehicle shall have a driver and that the driver shall, at all times, be able to control their vehicle. 

‘The likelihood is that in the absence of legislative change across Europe, an element of self-driving will become the norm in the near future. This will be a selectable option rather than a default setting, with the driver remaining legally responsible for control of the vehicle, whether in manual or automated mode.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.