Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

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Connected and autonomous transport in the UK - next steps for legal and regulatory frameworks, infrastructure, market growth, and UK leadership

April 2021


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will discuss the next steps for connected and automated mobility (CAM) and connected and automated vehicles (CAV) in the UK.


Areas for discussion include next steps for:


  • legal and regulatory frameworks
  • physical and digital infrastructure
  • market growth and realising predicted benefits for the UK economy and employment
  • rollout in smart cities, other urban environments, and more widely
  • opportunities for extending the UK’s international role in autonomous vehicle development and innovation

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; the CCAV; DCMS; DIT; the Department for The Economy, NI; the DfT; the Geospatial Commission; the HSE; the MCA; Ofcom; the ORR; Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain; UK Space Agency; and the Welsh Government.


The agenda:


  • Developing the transport system for autonomous vehicles and mobility services, and what is needed from policy
  • Designing the legal and regulatory framework - rethinking driver responsibilities, data use and requirements, and standardising a UK-wide framework
  • Preparing physical and digital infrastructure for intelligent mobility - optimising the road network, cyber security and resilience, and the role of 5G
  • Autonomous vehicles in smart cities, other urban environments and rural areas - understanding user and community needs, vehicle design, and built environment-ready CAM services
  • Maximising the potential for the UK to lead in smart transport innovation - research and rolling out pilot schemes, regional engagement, and supporting development of the domestic market
  • Policy objectives for connected and autonomous vehicles in the UK - regulation, and supporting innovation, integration and commercialisation

Key areas for discussion:


  • legal and regulatory frameworks:
    • self-driving vehicle responsibilities - driver recognition systems, attention monitoring, and setting criteria for the needs, scale and frequency of warning systems to the driver
    • legal and regulatory regimes - insurance models for confidence and certainty, highway management and vehicle data collection, and accommodating new vehicle industry requirements
    • creating a standardised UK model for CAVs - cost-effective and accessible rules for vehicle developers and drivers, and collaboration with road and planning stakeholders across UK nations
  • infrastructure priorities:
    • optimising motorway infrastructure - ensuring design is suited for lane-keeping and vehicle-to-vehicle specifications, changing traffic flows, and new maintenance and road sign requirements
    • digital infrastructure - what is needed to create reliable cyber networks, fast capabilities in 5G for vehicle and system signalling, and grid resilience to cyber threats
  • rollout in smart cities, other urban environments, and more widely:
    • urban environments and smarter cities - issues for CAV deployment including system governance and the role of local authorities, gathering data securely, and delivering whole-system change
    • road-ready vehicle design - road specifications for manufacturers, engagement with supply chains, and strategies for accelerating market readiness and commercialisation
  • market growth:
    • pilot projects and commercialisation - widening industry engagement, and integrating social needs and preferences into the development of new autonomous mobility services
    • investment - developing public and private funding sources, and investor confidence, including in the legal, insurance and regulation frameworks, and demonstrating clear routes to market
    • regional opportunities - fostering CAV and CAM sector growth, including supporting the development of R&D centres, and new and existing value-chain stakeholders, across the UK
  • UK leadership - opportunities for extending the UK’s international role in autonomous vehicle development and innovation

Relevant background:


  • policy developments:
    • the Government’s long-term objectives - for modernising the UK transport network such as scaling up smart and low-carbon solutions to modes of mobility, and further priorities identified in the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge established in the Industrial Strategy
      • commercialisation and the wider scope of transport options being automated
    • Connected and Automated Vehicles in the UK: 2020 information booklet - from the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles outlining key policy and industry developments, including:
      • the distribution of over £440m between CAV commercialisation projects
      • progress on pilot schemes, and opportunities for scaling up deployment and industry engagement in the short and medium term
    • the National Infrastructure Strategy - and its outline of over £600bn in infrastructure investment for the next five years, with:
      • significant resources for developing road and digital networks to help facilitate the take-up, and accommodation of future transport options like intelligent mobility
    • Future of Transport: rural strategy - DfT seeking views on how rural areas can benefit from and prepare for innovative technologies such as self-driving cars, CAMs and other emerging options
  • the legal and regulatory framework - progress on preparations for supporting the rollout and introduction of CAVs and CAMs on UK roads, including:
    • Safe use of Automated Lane Keeping System on GB motorways - the consultation on using Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) technology on UK motorways:
      • assessing needed reforms to highway, street and driver codes and responsibilities for using self-driving technology
    • Future of Transport regulatory review: call for evidence on micromobility vehicles, flexible bus services and Mobility-as-a-Service - the Government’s response:
      • identifying the need for greater regulatory and framework flexibility for stakeholders involved in developing CAVs, and CAM technologies like automated pods for pedestrian spaces
    • Consultation on a regulatory framework for automated vehicles - Law Commission seeking final views on proposals for safety and legal provisions for mass autonomous vehicle deployment
  • market research:
    • Connected Places Catapult: market forecast for connected and autonomous vehicles - a report predicting that by 2035 CAVs will constitute 40% of total annual car sales, worth more than £40bn, and with significant green job creation as a result
  • pilot project progress:
    • MuCCA: government-backed collision avoidance system achieves world first - a collision avoidance system utilising vehicle-to-vehicle radio messaging designed for busy motorways
    • Humandrive: vehicle completes 230 mile, self-navigated drive across the UK - a successful trial demonstrating CAV ability at navigating roads and highway rules
    • Project Endeavour - the UK’s first multi-city demonstration, running from autumn 2020 to autumn 2021, conducting live tests in Oxford, London and Birmingham
    • Kar-go autonomous delivery vehicle trials - ongoing trials in the London Borough of Hounslow and Banstead, Surrey, where autonomous vehicles are used to deliver medicines from pharmacies to vulnerable care home residents
    • Stadium MK 5G pilot - Milton Keynes Council secured £2.3m in Government funding to create and test mobility solutions at Stadium MK using 5G - the project includes the use of autonomous vehicles in moving people and goods across the stadium site
  • 5G:
    • Funding boost for UK tech innovators to seize opportunities of 5G technology:
      • the £200m 5G testbed and trials programme, and recent funding for aiding 5G ancillary capabilities for CAVs
      • including investment for developing autonomous trucks and 5G systems for CAV integration in smart cities
    • 5StarS: developing a security framework for autonomous and connected vehicles - government-partnered projects for commercialising cyber security systems for self-driving vehicles
  • physical infrastructure:
    • the Air-One hub - the Government has approved plans for the construction of a hub for autonomous electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft near the Ricoh Arena in Coventry

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from both Houses of Parliament, and officials from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles; the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; the Department for International Trade; the Department for The Economy, NI; the Department for Transport; the Geospatial Commission; the Health and Safety Executive; the Maritime and Coastguard Agency; Ofcom; the Office of Rail and Road; Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain; UK Space Agency; and the Welsh Government.


Overall, we expect further speakers and other delegates to be an informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with vehicle manufacturers, transport bodies, consumer groups, technology and innovation platforms, academia and higher education institutions, law firms, urban and city planners, as well as reporters from the national and trade media.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles