Roundtable meeting sees Government and UK automotive industry discuss connected and self-driving vehicles

This week, in a bid to help position Britain as a world leader in electric and connected and autonomous vehicle technology, motor industry representatives took part in a roundtable meeting with the Government.

Representatives of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), vehicle manufacturers, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles attended the meeting, chaired by Transport Minister John Hayes.

The meeting coincided with the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill starting its House of Commons Committee stage. The bill sets out a new approach to motor insurance rules to cater for autonomous driving and includes measures to improve the availability of electric charging infrastructure in the UK.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “The UK is currently the EU’s biggest market for electric cars, while on-road trials of next generation self-driving vehicles are already taking place on our roads. 

“We welcome government’s commitment to create the conditions necessary to position the UK as a centre of excellence for the development of this technology. These vehicles will transform our roads and society, dramatically reducing accidents, improving air quality, connecting people and saving thousands of lives every year.”

SMMT will hold a cross-industry event later this month on connected and autonomous vehicles, bringing together senior industry executives, technology sector representatives and policy-makers to discuss the latest developments and challenges around connected and autonomous vehicle technology in the UK.

The roundtable meeting comes in the same week in which a House of Lords committee called on the Government to ensure the UK benefits from the advent of connected and autonomous vehicles.