Who's to blame when things go crash, bank wallop in driverless cars?

Britain's roads minister Jesse Norman launched a three-year review Tuesday to look at how driving laws need to change with the introduction of driverless vehicles of the future.

Norman announced the review will be carried out by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission. It will be tasked with examining legal obstacles to the widespread introduction of self-driving vehicles and highlight the need for regulatory reforms.

"The work will be crucial in examining how current driving laws, designed with traditional motoring in mind, can support the next generation of vehicles," said the Department for Transport.

"Key aspects will be adjusting traditional laws to reflect the fact self-driving vehicles of the future will not have a 'driver' or perhaps even a'steering wheel' like traditional cars and also consider some of the criminal offences involved."

Minister Norman said: "The UK is a world leader for self-driving vehicle research and development, and this work marks an important milestone in our continued commitment to the technology. With driving technology advancing at an unprecedented rate, it is important that our laws and regulations keep pace."

The review project by legal experts will examine difficult areas of law in order to develop a regulatory framework that is ready for self-driving vehicles.

It will look at key questions, such as who is the 'driver' or responsible person in a driverless vehicle, and how to allocate civil and criminal responsibility in a human-machine interface.

Law Commissioner and barrister Nicholas Paines said: "British roads are already among the safest in the world and automated vehicles have the potential to make them even safer. Provided our laws are ready for them."






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