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Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co paves way for driverless cars

11 February 2015

Business Secretary Vince Cable and Transport Minister Claire Perry officially launched regulatory review and UK Government's 'Introducing Driverless Cars' competition today.

UK Autodrive, one of the three successful projects in the competition, is a £19.2m, three year programme led by engineering and consultancy firm, Arup.

The consortium - which includes international law firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, forward thinking local authorities, the UK's leading technology and automotive businesses and academic institutions - will develop autonomous vehicle technologies and integrate driverless vehicles into existing urban environment.

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co's Automotive team will play a significant role in this twin-city consortium and as the only lawyers involved in the initiative, will be contributing to the thinking on societal and legal issues including the privacy, cyber-security, liability and legislative aspects.

Head of automotive, Stuart Young said "While this consortium is addressing the technical issue of whether we can put driverless cars on the public roads, it is also considering how we should do that to ensure society's broader concerns are addressed. Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co will be reviewing the legal and ethical roadmap, as it were, with a view to issuing White Papers on subjects including data privacy and the development of the law to allow driverless cars."

UK Autodrive launched by the Transport Minister and Business Secretary, will see trials of driverless cars taking place this year in Milton Keynes and Coventry. The trials will keep the UK at the forefront of this innovative new technology.

Representatives from UK Autodrive, Tim Armitage, UK Autodrive Project Director (Arup), Cllr Pete Marland (Milton Keynes Council Leader) and Mike Waters (Coventry City Council), joined Vince Cable and Claire Perry at today's project launch and Government's regulatory review.

Tim Armitage said "This Government review of regulations paves the way for the introduction of driverless vehicles on UK roads. UK Autodrive will make use of these changes to lead the development and adoption of autonomous driving technologies. The three year programme will demonstrate those autonomous technologies in the cities of Milton Keynes and Coventry, positioning the UK as a leader in this domain."

The other partners in the ‘UK Autodrive' consortium are Arup, Milton Keynes Council, Coventry Council, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor Company, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, RDM Group, MIRA, Oxbotica, AXA, the Transport Systems Catapult, Thales, the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and the Open University.


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