Autonomous Vehicle Legislation Becomes Law in the UK. Driverless cars expected by 2026.

  • May 20, 2024

The government of the UK announced that fully self-driving vehicles could be on UK roads within two years as the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent .

“While this doesn’t take away people’s ability to choose to drive themselves, our landmark legislation means self-driving vehicles can be rolled out on British roads as soon as 2026, in a real boost to both safety and our economy,” Transport Secretary Mark Harper’s statement says.

For many years the UK has permitted driverless cars on public roads imposing strict rules for those companies requesting permissions for trying out the new technologies. With the autonomous vehicle industry evolvement the need for a new legal framework has become evident.

A few weeks ago Wayve raised more than $1 billion from the high-profile companies SoftBank, Nvidia and Microsoft, to continue developing a self-learning software system for autonomous vehicles.

“The introduction of automated vehicles will have profound legal consequences … it requires new regulatory schemes and new actors (with new responsibilities and liabilities). We therefore recommend primary legislation — a new Automated Vehicles Act — to regulate automated vehicle on roads or other public places in Great Britain.” Says the Joint report of the the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission