U.K. Drafting Autonomous-Vehicle Insurance Policy

Nissan, whose locally built ʼ17 Qashqai SUV will feature limited autonomous technology, applauds the U.K. government’s plan to ensure appropriate insurance for driverless cars.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

May 26, 2016

2 Min Read
Nissan CEO Ghosn rides shotgun in autonomous test vehicle
Nissan CEO Ghosn rides shotgun in autonomous test vehicle.

Proposed legislation for the insuring of self-driving cars will have a significant role in the adoption and integration of the technology in the U.K., analysts say.

The government announced in the Queen’s Speech read at the opening session of Parliament it plans new laws to prepare the U.K. to pioneer autonomous and driverless cars and ensuring appropriate insurance is available to support their use.

The government wants to make Britain a leader in autonomous transportation and is funding a number of research projects, but most trials are being conducted on private tracks rather than the open road.

A Code of Practice for public testing exists, but experts still are trying to decide how autonomous vehicles will be insured. The government says through the Queen’s Speech it will introduce legislation to cover this.

Nissan confirms the refreshed ’17 Qashqai SUV will be the first Nissan model in Europe – and the first U.K.-built car – equipped with autonomous technology with ProPilot.

ProPilot allows the car to drive autonomously and safely in a single lane in heavy traffic conditions on highways. It is the first step in Nissan’s commitment to launch a range of vehicles with autonomous-drive capabilities by 2020.

Nissan Phasing in Autonomous Features

In 2018, multiple-lane control in Nissan cars will allow them to autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes while driving. Then, 2020 will see the launch of intersection autonomy that will allow cars to navigate busy city junctions and heavy urban traffic without driver intervention.

Saying it is committed to making autonomous-drive technologies available to the mass market, Nissan will produce the SUV at its Sunderland manufacturing plant for sale in the U.K. as well as markets across Europe.

“Any new legislation, such as we’ve seen announced, that supports the adoption and integration of autonomous-vehicle technologies, is a positive for the U.K.,” Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox says in a statement.

“Autonomously equipped vehicles will improve the safety and well-being of drivers, with fewer collisions and reduced traffic congestion. The U.K. economy can also benefit, by playing a pivotal role in a global industry estimated to be worth £900 billion ($1.3 trillion) by 2025.”

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders CEO Mike Hawes says his group welcomes government’s commitment to accelerate the development of connected and autonomous vehicles in the U.K.

“This is a huge opportunity for Britain, with the potential to deliver significant road safety improvements, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and generate £51 billion ($74 billion) for the economy by 2030,” he says in a statement.

About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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