Law and insurance is cool!

Well now. Someone just had to pay attention to the afternoon, after details in The Queen’s Speech revealed some tasty bits on the need to integrate commercial/private UAS activities into everyday airspace and develop an insurance programme for autonomous cars/vehicles.

Interestingly, Unmanned Vehicles is delving into areas previously left untouched by many media outlets in tackling the topic of UAS insurance, which finds itself front and centre in the coming June-July edition. Commercial UAS operations meanwhile is a minefield of registration, requirements and the fabulously contradictory notion of there being too many and too few rules at the same time.

Keep an eye out for a hard copy at coming shows or be all tech-savvy and go with the digital version instead. I wont judge.

The text of the Modern Transport Bill states that Britain at the ‘forefront of the modern transport revolution’. Legislation to enable future development of the UK’s first commercial spaceport, new laws for autonomous cars, and ‘rules to bring safe commercial and personal drone flight for households and business a step closer’ are all mentioned.

Here it is, courtesy of, in full.

The purpose of the Bill is to:

  • Cut red tape and put the right framework in place to allow innovation to flourish.
  • Create the conditions that drives innovation and puts the UK at the forefront of modern global transport developments as part of the country’s long term economic plan.
  • Maintain and extend the UK’s role as a world-leading transport manufacturing base.
  • Ensure new technology delivers better, safer journeys, while keeping Britain at the cutting edge of international transport technology.

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

  • Reducing congestion, which has been estimated to cost the UK economy £20 billion every year.
  • Modern transportation can make much more efficient use of our roads, railways and airspace, cutting congestions, speeding up journeys for people and goods and boosting the UK’s economy.
  • The UK exported 1.2 million cars last year. This Bill would put the UK at the forefront of autonomous and driverless vehicles ownership and use.
  • Setting the framework for the UK’s first spaceport and autonomous vehicles, paving the way for commercial spaceflight and drone operations in the UK and boosting our world-leading satellite industry.

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • Encouraging potential investors in autonomous vehicles, spaceplane operations and spaceports, creating highly skilled jobs and spurring innovation across the economy.
  • Legislation that will put the UK at the forefront of safe technology in the autonomous vehicles industry, such as drones, and spaceplanes.
  • Ensuring appropriate insurance is available to support the use of autonomous and driverless vehicles. 18 May 2016
  • Improving protection for customers by updating ATOL, the UK’s financial protection scheme for holidays by clarifying the 1992 legislation that predates people booking their holidays on the internet. Devolution: Some of the Bill’s provisions would apply only to Great Britain, others to the United Kingdom. All aviation and maritime is reserved so applicable to all the UK, however, autonomous and driverless vehicles measures would apply to Great Britain only.

Key facts:

  • Trials of automated and driverless cars are currently taking place in Bristol, Greenwich, Milton Keynes and Coventry (The 4 Cities Driverless Car Trials), and we expect to see vehicles (cars and/ or pods) driving themselves later this year)
  • Since the launch of the Plug-In Car Grant in January 2011, there have been 60,755 eligible electric cars registered.
  • The Teals Group’s market study estimates that drone production will soar from current worldwide production of $4 billion annually to $414 billion, totalling $93 billion in the next ten years. With addition of military drone research spending this would rise to $123 billion over the decade.


What does everyone think about this then? Brave New World or Best Not Hope?




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