Automated Vehicles Bill clears Commons hurdle

A proposed law paving the way for self-driving cars to be used on Britain’s roads has cleared the House of Commons.

MPs gave the Automated Vehicles Bill an unopposed third reading and it is on the verge of becoming law.

The Bill, which has previously been supported by the House of Lords, aims to set the legal framework for the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper has previously said autonomous cars enabling drivers not to concentrate on the road will be used in the UK from 2026.

Mark Harper
Transport Secretary Mark Harper has said self-driving cars can improve road safety in Britain (PA)

“But also to make sure that we have safer roads, with technology that will contribute to an improvement in road safety and continue Britain’s leadership in that position.”

Shadow transport minister Bill Esterson said he could “wholeheartedly agree” with Mr Harper about the “desirability” of the Bill, including the potential to improve road safety and economic opportunities.

A series of Government amendments to tweak parts of the Bill were made in the Commons, meaning peers are expected to give it another look before it clears Parliament.

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