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TIN news:  A new report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has revealed that the UK Government and industry need to urgently encourage the greater use of autonomous vehicles.
Institution of the Mechanical Engineers head of transport and lead author of the report Philippa Oldham said: "We need to urgently resolve legislative, technological and insurance issues to help encourage the rollout of autonomous or driverless vehicles."
The advantages offered by this kind of technology are significant, with estimates that the economic benefit could turn out to be as much as £51bn annually due to fewer accidents and better productivity.
Oldham added: "Currently 95% of all crashes happen due to driver error, so it makes sense for government, industry and academia to redouble efforts to look at how we phase out human involvement in driving vehicles.
"We need to urgently resolve legislative, technological and insurance issues to help encourage the rollout of autonomous or driverless vehicles."
"There needs to be much more action from government to help integrate driverless vehicles into the current UK transport network. This will include updates and standardisation to road signage and road markings to enable these driverless vehicles to operate in the safest way possible."
Car dealerships and vehicle manufacturers can also play an important role as they will need to clarify how they will provide after-sales care, technical updates and upgrades in order to ensure safe introduction of driverless vehicles on roads.
"Much more work needs to be done to clarify regulation and insurance issues, such as where liability lies in case of an accident," Oldham added.
The 'Autonomous and Driverless Cars' report recommended that a public consultation being held and a working group that includes industry, legislators, regulators and members of the general public be set up to look at how new regulatory regimes can be implemented.
It also stated that the UK Department for Transport will have to address safety issues of mixed road use and explore how autonomous vehicles can be integrated onto the road network.

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