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Self-driving car owners won’t be blamed for crashes under proposed new law

UK law leaders propose new regulation on autonomous driving, including blaming for errors and cracking down on misleading marketing

A new report on the advent of self-driving cars says that instead, the manufacturer or the agency that gets the vehicle’s approval is responsible for any errors or violations of the law when the features Self-driving is used.

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The report from the Law Commission of England and Wales and Scotland also says that new legislation is needed to regulate autonomous vehicles and requires new measures to make the difference between driver assistance systems cars and true self-driving capabilities.

The debate over who should be responsible for illegal or unsafe driving in automated vehicles is one of the key issues in developing the technology, but the Commission’s report lays out two Key hints on this topic.

Law Commission recommends clear guidelines and regulatory approval system for truly autonomous vehicles

It recommends the introduction of a new Automated Vehicles Act, which would have a formal regulator set up to approve and regulate any vehicle with “self-driving features” that don’t require a person in a seat. driver must control.

According to the company’s proposal when a car is claimed to have self-driving features and those features are in use, the person in the driver’s seat will not be responsible for how the car drives and cannot be traced. charged with any crime arising from duty driving. They will become “responsible users”, only responsible for side issues such as making sure the vehicle is insured, checking the load is secured and the children tied up.

Instead, the auto-driving car’s manufacturer or agency will be held responsible for any errors, such as speeding, running a red light, or causing a crash. .

Publishing a report produced by the Center for Autonomous and Connected Vehicles in 2018, Nicholas Paines QC, Public Law Commissioner for England and Wales, said: “We have an unprecedented opportunity to promote public acceptance of automated vehicles with our recommendations for guaranteed safety and clarification of liability. ”

The report also calls for “protective measures” to prevent automakers from marketing driver-assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control as self-driving technology taking over all driving duties. Misleading names such as Tesla’sAutopilot It has been blamed in the past for drivers to overestimate the capabilities of their cars.

Matthew Avery, director of research strategy at Thatcham Research welcomes such a recommendation. “To ensure clarity about the capabilities of the system and the responsibilities of the driver, there needs to be a clear separation between assisted driving, where the vehicle assists the driver, and self-driving capabilities,” he said. , where the vehicle is responsible for the entire driving task.

“We therefore welcome recommendations that force automakers to use appropriate terminology, to prevent motorists from believing their cars can fully drive themselves, when it is not. so.”

Mr Avery added that the report provided “substantial” clarity and recommendations on the regulatory framework needed for the safe deployment of self-driving systems but warned that early adopters of any kind Any “self-driving” system needs to fully understand their responsibilities.

“The transition to safe automation with self-driving capabilities is fraught with risks as we enter the early stages of adoption,” he said.

“In the next 12 months we will likely see the first iterations of autonomous driving in cars in the UK. It is important that the Legal Committee report highlights the legal obligations of drivers and how they must understand that their vehicles are not yet fully autonomous. It has self-driving features, in the near future, will be restricted to use on highways at low speeds.

“Drivers need to be present for re-inspection at all times, not allowed to sleep or use their mobile phones. It is important for early adopters to understand these limitations and their legal obligations. “

Transport Secretary Trudy Harrison said the development of self-driving vehicles has the potential to “revolutionize” travel.

Car manufacturers are investing heavily in developing technology that can take on the full range of driving tasks (Image: Nissan)

“This government has been encouraging the development and deployment of these technologies to understand their benefits,” she said. However, we must ensure that we have the right regulations, based on safety and accountability, to build public trust.

“That is why the department funded this independent report and I look forward to fully considering the recommendations and responding on time.”

Jim Holder, editorial director of What Car?, said it was important that legislation kept pace with technology and that reporting was an important first step towards answering legal questions about autonomous vehicles.

He commented: “By placing the responsibility of the vehicle on the vehicle manufacturers and software developers while in ‘self-driving’ mode, the legislation will serve as a significant incentive for manufacturers to make sure any product they recommend is safe and reliable. The weight of responsibility will also shed those who are not willing to invest and can strengthen the market with joint ventures and more sharing of technology.

Ministers in the UK, Scotland and Wales governments will now consider the Commission’s recommendations and whether legislation should be introduced to put them into force.

https://www.nationalworld.com/lifestyle/cars/self-driving-car-owners-wont-be-to-blame-for-crashes-under-proposed-new-laws-3541257 Self-driving car owners won’t be blamed for crashes under proposed new law

Huynh Nguyen

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