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Inquiry launch: Transport Committee to investigate development and deployment of self-driving vehicles

27 June 2022

Self-driving technology, once the stuff of driving dreams, is getting closer. In April 2022, proposed revisions to the Highway Code were laid before Parliament to provide for self-driving cars.

The Law Commission of England and Wales is seeking views on regulating remote driving on public roads, building on earlier recommendations from the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission for reform to enable “the safe and responsible introduction of automated vehicles.”

The Government has said that it is “continuing to develop a full legal framework for self-driving vehicles”. This is set to include a full regulatory framework for widespread deployment of automated lane keeping system tech by 2025. The first approved technology is likely to be for vehicles travelling at slow speeds on motorways, such as in congested traffic.

The Transport Committee will investigate the development and deployment of self-driving vehicles, also known as connected and autonomous vehicles, on the UK’s roads. The inquiry will consider the progress of research and work in the UK and abroad and what needs to happen to prepare for their arrival. This includes regulation, perceptions of safety, the role of Government, implications for infrastructure and for existing car use.

Terms of reference

The Committee is particularly interested in receiving written evidence that addresses:

  • likely uses, including private cars, public transport and commercial vehicles, and levels of automation;
  • progress of research and trials in the UK and abroad; 
  • potential implications for infrastructure, both physical and digital; 
  • the regulatory framework, including legal status, approval and authorisation processes and insurance; 
  • safety and perceptions of safety, including the relationship with other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and conventionally driven vehicles;  
  • the role of Government and other responsible bodies, such as National Highways and local authorities; and 
  • potential effects on patterns of car ownership, vehicle taxation and decarbonisation in the car market. 

The closing date for written evidence is Monday 22 August 2022.

Further information

Image: PA