House of Lords launches driverless vehicles inquiry

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has made an announcement that it is inviting contributions to a new inquiry on the future uses of driverless vehicles around the United Kingdom.

In a statement, the House of Lords press office said: “The UK has the potential to become a world leader in developing, producing and deploying driverless (also known as autonomous) vehicles. This inquiry will collect evidence on the potential uses and benefits of autonomous vehicles in contexts such as road transport, farming and space exploration.”

The Committee is looking for written contribution from “as wide an audience as possible” and it also gave examples of the kind of questions which the inquiry will aim to cover.

These include:

“What are the potential applications for autonomous vehicles?

What are the potential user benefits and disadvantages from the deployment of autonomous vehicles?

Are further revisions needed to insurance, regulation and legislation in the UK to create an enabling environment for autonomous vehicles?

What is the scale of the market opportunity for autonomous vehicles?

Will successful deployment of autonomous vehicles require changes to digital or physical infrastructure?”

Chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, Lord Selborne, said: “We will examine what the Government is doing to support research into developing autonomous vehicles in the UK, as well as the real world implications as these vehicles start to appear on the roads and in the work place. If the UK is to be at the forefront of this transport revolution, investment into research is vital to ensure the technology is perfected, allowing the public to embrace the use of autonomous vehicles.

“There are potentially considerable economic opportunities and public good benefits from this technology. We will look at whether the Government’s actions are appropriate in supporting these opportunities. We welcome submissions of written evidence – and later oral evidence – to ensure that we can carry out the most thorough and informative inquiry possible.”