On 6th November 2017 the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, made a speech to insurers in which he announced that the Government was preparing regulatory reforms to enable British roads to be ready for autonomous vehicles by 2021. 

Most significantly, he announced that the Government are looking to implement "a new compulsory insurance framework that covers motorists when they are driving, and when the driver has legitimately handed control to the vehicle". The aim is to ensure that persons injured or killed in road traffic collision involving an autonomous vehicle have easy access to insurance funding for rehabilitation and financial losses.  It will also allow the insurers to recover costs from manufacturers in such cases. 

If the Government proposals make it into law then this will be positive news for those injured or bereaved as a result of road traffic collisions because they will have the reassurance that there will be insurance funding available to meet their medical treatment and financial losses.  In particular it dispells the concern raised previously that without this clarification would the injured person be faced with potentially two defendants - the driver and/or the manufacturer. 

Matthew Claxson has written several pieces that have been published previously on driverless cars, including for Channel 4 (11.02.2015), Lexis Nexis (20.02.2015), Trusted Reviews (30.09.2016), and Huffington Post (01.05.2017).

Matthew Claxson is an expert in accessing rehabilitation for those with major trauma, representing at Inquest those bereaved due to road traffic collision.  Matthew Claxson can be contacted on freephone 0800 157 7611 or by e:mail matthew.claxson@mooreblatch.com