Opinion Former Article

CIHT responds to Law Commission's second automated vehicle consultation

The Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission are carrying out a three-year review to prepare law and regulation for automated vehicles. This was the second consultation of three and it focused on Highly Automated Road Passenger Services, or “HARPS”. The term HARPS is meant to encapsulate the idea of a new automated transport service. It refers to a service which uses highly automated vehicles to supply road journeys to passengers without a human driver or "user-in-charge". The vehicle would be able to travel empty or with only passengers on board.

The official consultation documents are available here.

The first consultation from The Law Commission was about regulation of 'users-in-charge vehicles', a term for vehicles that need to have someone in them who is qualified and able to drive and take over the vehicle if needed. Read CIHT's response to that consultation here.

For this second consultation The Law Commission asked whether a new type of licence is required for those who run this type of service, e.g. public transport operators. CIHT agreed that a single national system of operator licensing should be adopted. This would ensure a consistent approach to those aspects of licensing that are safety related. This is also important to ensure that end-users can expect as consistent and high level of safety as possible.

The Law Commission also asked questions about road pricing, parking charges and capping quantities of automated vehicles. CIHT's response focused on the importance of transport authorities having sufficient powers to regulate automated vehicles, or HARPS, to ensure that these are deployed in a way where they are a benefit to local communities and help achieve the outcomes set out in local transport strategies.

Read the full response here.

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