Automated Vehicles

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

We are reviewing the regulatory framework for the safe deployment of automated vehicles in the UK. We have published our preliminary consultation paper on automated vehicles. We are now analysing responses to the consultation.


View the consultation paper, Automated Vehicles: a joint preliminary consultation paper.

View the summary of the consultation.

View the Welsh language version of the summary.

View the response form.

The project

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) has asked the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission to undertake a far-reaching review of the legal framework for automated vehicles, and their use as part of public transport networks and on-demand passenger services.

By automated vehicles we refer to vehicles that are capable of driving themselves without being controlled or monitored by an individual for at least part of a journey.  We also consider issues arising at the boundary between self-driving vehicles and widely used driver assistance technologies such as cruise control.

Preliminary consultation

We cover three key themes in our preliminary consultation. First, we consider how safety can be assured before automated vehicles are placed on the market, as well as ongoing monitoring and maintenance requirements once they are on the road. Second, we explore criminal and civil liability. Finally, we examine the need to adapt road rules for artificial intelligence.


This is a three-year project running from March 2018 to March 2021. Our preliminary consultation paper is currently open for consultation. In 2019 we will consult on the regulation of automated vehicles in public transport and mobility as a service. We will deliver final recommendations by March 2021.

Next steps

Our consultation closed on 18 February 2019 and we are working to publish the results of the consultation in the coming months. We will publish our final report, and deliver final recommendations by March 2021.


By email to or by phone: 020 3334 0200.


Documents and downloads

Project details

Area of law

Public law


Nicholas Paines QC