In July 2016, the government issued a consultation on its proposals to promote the development of autonomous vehicles – specifically advanced driver assistance systems and automated vehicle technology.

This month the government published its response to the consultation.

In its response, the government stated that it "received positive support from both automotive, road safety, legal and insurance bodies with regard to our proposed approach to regulating for new vehicle technologies in a rolling programme of reform".  It there proposes to continue to regulate in this way, working closely with industry and focusing on advanced driver assistance systems that are near-to-market.

In relation to insurance, the government will take its proposals forward in the upcoming Modern Transport Bill.  It plans to make the minimum legislative changes required for the market to produce suitable automated vehicle products.  In a change from its previous proposals, the government now intends to extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance "creating a single insurer model to protect victims where the AV causes a crash in automated mode".  This will allow the victim to claim against the insurer and the insurer to recover from the responsible party to the extent it is liable.

Finally, the government will continue to develop its policy on changes that are required to facilitate the introduction of advance driver assistance systems.  It plans to consult again on its specific proposals for amendments to relevant rules and regulations in due course.

 Watch this space for further developments from government – and in particular the publication of the Modern Transport Bill, expected early this year.