Shoosmiths mobility sector: leading the charge in automotive legislation

Shoosmiths has submitted a comprehensive response for the proposed Automated Vehicles Bill (AV Bill) to the House of Commons.

It outlines crucial insights from the firm into the expanding connected and automated mobility sector, to support with new legislation. Spearheaded by Ben Gardner, a renowned expert in automotive and mobility regulations, the submission also highlights the firm's extensive experience and expertise in navigating the intricate legal landscape of the automotive and mobility industries.

The proposed AV Bill represents a landmark initiative aimed at addressing regulatory gaps and uncertainties plaguing the industry. Grounded in principles of safety, integrity, and transparency, the Bill offers a comprehensive framework designed to guide the development and commercialisation of automated vehicles (AVs) in the UK. While it lays the groundwork for the future legal landscape, we highlight that mass deployment of AVs is not imminent, with multiple consultations and regulations needed to supplement the AV Bill and permit AV operations.  Such consultations and regulations are expected to extend until at least 2026.

The response also underscores the immense potential of the connected and automated mobility sector to drive substantial economic and societal benefits in the UK. However, regulatory challenges pose significant barriers to harnessing this potential fully – we must remember the pivotal role of legislation in overcoming these obstacles, promoting industry growth, and bolstering public confidence. The AV Bill is the first important step towards addressing these barriers and realising the potential that exists in the UK and beyond.

Main response

Shoosmiths warmly welcomes the introduction of the AV Bill, recognising it as a timely and well-crafted response to the evolving dynamics of the automotive and mobility sectors. The firm commends the meticulous efforts of the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and other stakeholders in translating the Law Commission's recommendations into actionable legislation.

Drawing from extensive research spanning nearly five years and industry consultations, the AV Bill reflects a collective understanding of the complex issues at hand. We stress the importance of robust regulatory frameworks in ensuring the safe and responsible deployment of AVs, mitigating risks, and maintaining public trust.

Crucially, the AV Bill addresses liability allocation and marketing offenses, providing clarity and accountability in a rapidly evolving landscape. By instilling confidence among businesses and consumers alike, it sets the stage for sustainable growth and innovation in the AV sector.

While Shoosmiths acknowledges the inevitability of accidents involving AVs, it underscores the transformative potential of technology in enhancing road safety. Emphasising the Bill's role in positioning the UK as a global leader in AV technology, the firm advocates for broader scope to encompass diverse vehicle types and use cases, thus future-proofing the legislation and the amplifying economic opportunities that are available.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Shoosmiths’ submission underscores the importance of being one of the first countries to introduce detail AV laws in order to stimulate national opportunities and attract inward investment. Such laws will provide greater certainty for businesses and consumers and promote safety, transparency, and innovation across the sector. Therefore the proposed Bill lays a solid foundation for the UK's leadership in AV technology, promising significant economic dividends, and societal benefits for years to come.

Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.

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