New rules could lead to ‘lower’ car insurance and ‘freedom’ for older drivers

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Major road changes set to hit British roads in just two years could help drop car insurance costs, according to experts.

The UK public will benefit from “potentially lower insurance premiums” as the rise in driverless car technology continues, claims the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Alongside lower prices, UK drivers will also benefit from “less stressful commutes”.

Industry leaders have also claimed the rise in Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) would offer “greater freedom for those with restricted mobility” including older motorists.

Businesses could also move goods “more efficiently” while the extra safety benefits could save almost 4,000 lives.

READ MORE ‘I’m a car expert – driverless cars come with these concerning risks’

The SMMT is pushing Rishi Sunak to introduce new legislation to legalise driverless cars before the end of the parliament or risk losing the opportunity.

The Government’s current plan is to slowly introduce new rules which could see more self-driving technology on UK roads by 2025.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said: “While fully automated road journeys are still some way off, advances in connected and automated mobility technology means they’re within our future – presenting a significant opportunity to revolutionise transport in the UK.

“Government must work with all stakeholders to implement the necessary framework needed to deliver this exciting revolution swiftly and effectively, ensuring that consumers can reap the lifesaving and cost-saving benefits.

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“Failing to do so risks leaving the UK in the slow lane, jeopardising our competitiveness and impeding growth and job creation.”

According to the SMMT, driverless car technology could be worth billions to the UK economy with thousands of jobs created.

The move could see an extra 342,000 additional jobs across the economy from now to 2040, with 12,250 in automotive manufacturing.

Insurance was covered in the Government’s ‘Connected & Automated Mobility 2025’ report published last year. The study claimed that “innovative products” could launch on the market but ultimately road users would still be responsible for having a policy even if cars drove themselves.

However, a reduction in the number of incidents and claims could have a knock-on effect with motorists handed savings through cheaper rates.

Safety is expected to be at the forefront of any driverless vehicle rollout which will push manufacturers to tackle the issue head on.

The Government has previously stated any self-driving cars will have to meet strict regulations with manufacturers slapped with sanctions if these are not met. Brands may also be responsible for a vehicle’s actions which would take the responsibility away from motorists.

Mike Biddle, Innovate UK Executive Director for Net Zero, commented: “This landmark study shows the huge prize that developing and deploying connected and automated mobility in the UK could deliver, with annual economic benefits as high as £66billion by 2040 and an estimated additional 342,000 additional jobs overall in the economy.”

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