driverless car

The government has launched a consultation on rule changes that will pave the way for automated cars to be used on the country’s roads.

Under the proposals, rules will be changed so automated vehicles can be insured for road use.

The Highway Code and regulations will also be changed so advanced driver assistance systems that change lanes on the motorway and park the vehicle by remote control can be used safely.

The proposed changes to insurance brought forward in the Modern Transport Bill. Motor insurance will remain compulsory but will be extended to cover product liability for automated vehicles.

The consultation is open to all drivers, and will last for nine weeks.

ABI director of general insurance policy James Dalton said: “The ABI’s Automated Driving Insurer Group has been engaged in constructive and productive discussions with the Department for Transport for many months now so it is good to see the importance of insurance to the vehicles of the future recognised within this consultation.

“The development of automated driving will revolutionise motoring, potentially as important a road safety innovation as the seatbelt.”

He added: “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.”

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Our roads are already some of the safest in the world and increasing advanced driver assist and driverless technologies have the potential to help cut the number of accidents further.”