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Remarketing sector urged to take part in autonomous vehicles consultation

By / 5 months ago / Latest News / No Comments

The remarketing sector is being urged to make its thoughts on autonomous vehicles known as part of a new consultation by the English and Scottish Law Commissions.

The latest consultation focuses on the definition of self-driving, pre-deployment authorisation processes, and how to assure safety in-use

Open until 18 March 2021, the consultation covers the legal framework necessary to enable autonomous vehicles to be used on British roads; it’s in its third and final stage and due to report in late 2021.

Jonathan Butler, VRA board member, and partner and head of automotive at legal specialists Geldards, said: “The way in which these consultations work is that different aspects of the legal situation are looked at over a period of time. The latest one focuses on the definition of self-driving, pre-deployment authorisation processes, and how to assure safety in-use. It also covers what is meant mean by a user-in-charge and a fleet operator, and touches on criminal offences and access to data.

“What we are seeing is that three main areas have been identified. Firstly, a distinction between semi-autonomous vehicles using driver assistance technologies and fully autonomous vehicles has been made.

“Secondly, there are proposals on vehicle approval, safety standards, safety ratings systems, software updates and protection against cyber-security risks such as ransomware threatening your vehicle.

“Finally, there is the question of where responsibility for accidents will lie, such as the manufacturer, fleet operator or drivers. This is obviously a major area of concern.”

Philip Nothard, chair at the VRA, said that while these are subjects that seem distant to most people working in remarketing, “the fact is that we are all dealing with many vehicles fitted with all kinds of advanced driver assistance systems already, and full autonomy might well be relatively close behind”.

He continued: “The remarketing sector brings an extremely practical eye to what often seem like theoretical considerations in matters such as this, and there are clearly all kinds of implications attached to these vehicles, ranging from official standards adopted and ensuring security through to who is responsible for their use and misuse.”

To access the consultation document, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.