UK wants to allow self-driving cars from 2025, holds manufacturer liable

The UK government has revealed details of a new law that will allow autonomous vehicles on public roads in the UK from 2025. In the event of an accident, the manufacturer of the car is held liable, not the possible ‘driver’.

The plans of the United Kingdom are intended on the one hand to ‘take full advantage of the emerging market of self-driving vehicles’, but also focus on the safe application of the technology. This is one of the reasons why more than 117 million is invested in the sector. At the time of writing, roughly a third of that amount has already been pledged for research into how self-driving cars perform, for example in bad weather conditions or in combination with pedestrians, other vehicles and cyclists.

The British government also explicitly states that manufacturers will be held liable for any accidents. “The legislation builds on existing laws and states that manufacturers are responsible for the actions of self-driving vehicles. In other words, a human driver is not liable for incidents while driving as long as the vehicle was operating autonomously.”

For the time being, self-driving vehicles are not allowed in the United Kingdom. According to the Ministry of Transport, certain autonomous vehicles such as buses and trucks could be found on highways as early as 2024.

Image via Tesla