King Charles’ first ever state opening of Parliament included a new automated vehicles bill. The King’s Speech marks the formal start of the parliamentary year and sets out the UK government’s proposed policies for the 2023-24 session.
“My ministers will introduce new legal frameworks to support the safe commercial development of emerging industries, such as self-driving vehicles, introduce new competition rules for digital markets, and encourage innovation in technologies such as machine learning,” said the monarch during a speech that outlined some 21 bills in total.
A briefing document states, “The Automated Vehicles Bill will unlock a transport revolution by enabling the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles. It will cement the UK’s position as a global leader in this high tech and high growth industry and deliver one of the world’s most comprehensive legal frameworks for self-driving vehicles, with safety at its core. It will release the huge growth potential of this sector, which will allow us to create a UK market of up to £42bn (US51bn) and create 38,000 skilled jobs by 2035, helping meet the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy.”
It continues, “Self-driving vehicles will make transport safer, more convenient and more accessible, improving the lives of millions of people. With 88% of accidents currently involving human error, the potential for automated vehicles to reduce costs, injuries and fatalities is enormous. They will empower people across the country to get around more easily, including to school or work which will boost productivity.”