The UK government has announced its intention to legislate
on the use of autonomous vehicles in Great Britain.
In so doing, the key takeaways are that:
Qualifying autonomous vehicles need to be authorised as
self-driving before they can be lawfully made available for
use by an authorised self-driving entity (ADSE).
If an autonomous vehicle can be used without a so-called
“user in charge” (UiC) being present, the operator needs to
be licensed to oversee the operation of the vehicle.
The ADSEs and licensed operators are to be legally
responsible for issues arising out of the use of autonomous
The “users” of autonomous vehicles will not be legally
responsible for any accidents that occur while the vehicle
is operating in autonomous mode. Rather, this liability will
become that of the ADSE in whose name the autonomous
vehicle has been authorised (most likely the manufacturer)
and, if the vehicle is capable of being operated without a
UiC for any journey, the licensed operator.