The UK government has launched a major consultation on proposed changes to insurance and motoring laws that would allow the use of driverless cars on Britain's roads.
Under the proposed measures, the government said rules will be changed so that automated vehicles can be insured for road use.
“Insurance law will be changed so that, in the future, motorists who have handed control to their ‘self-driving’ cars can be insured properly,” the government announced on its website.
The proposed changes to insurance will be introduced in the Modern Transport Bill.
Motor insurance will remain compulsory but will be extended to cover product liability for automated vehicles, according to the government.
“When a motorist has handed control to their vehicle, they can be reassured that their insurance will be there if anything goes wrong,” the government said.
The driver’s insurer will still pay out in the usual way so road accident victims are promptly reimbursed.
The Department for Transportation has been discussing the proposals with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for the past several months.
“It is good to see the importance of insurance to the vehicles of the future recognised within this consultation,” said James Dalton, ABI director of general insurance policy.
Dalton said the development of automated driving “will revolutionise motoring, potentially as important a road safety innovation as the seatbelt.”
“Insurers strongly support the Government’s ambition of making the UK a world leader in this technology and believe the insurance industry has a key role in helping give consumers confidence in using these vehicles when they become more widely available,” he said.
Deadly self-driving car crash raises insurance questions
Driverless cars to cut auto insurance premiums by 63%