Brexit causes uncertainty for UK's autonomous vehicles

Brexit uncertainty could negatively impact the UK's autonomous vehicle industry, according to academics.

Dr Jo-Ann Pattinson, from the Institute for Transport Studies, has recently co-authored an article with Dr Subhajit Basu from the School of Law in which they look at the potential impact on the UK’s autonomous car industry due to Brexit.

Many vehicles currently driven on UK roads already incorporate some element of semi-autonomous features such as assisted parking or self-breaking, and autonomous vehicles are likely to become the new reality within the UK in the not-too-distant future.

However, the impact of Brexit has left uncertainty about how the UK will be able to proceed within this industry. Dr Pattinson’s article explores areas including the likelihood of inward investment and how data sharing is anticipated to work, both of which are vital components for a successful autonomous car industry to become established within the UK. 

“There is no guarantee, post-December 2020, that European businesses will be permitted to share data with the UK as they do now under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)” reads the article. 
“No sharing of data with the EU likely means no autonomous UK vehicles on EU roads”

Dr Pattinson and Dr Basu also discuss how the funding for research and development of autonomous vehicles will be impacted and explained that “UK-based researchers have, until now, been able to access state-of-the-art research and expertise while being a beneficiary of and contributor to the €80 billion Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation Programme”. 

The authors conclude that the autonomous car industry is highly likely to be negatively impacted on the whole but “while Brexit potentially affects all UK business interests, the fledgling connected and autonomous vehicles sector is particularly vulnerable to a tumultuous legal and political landscape”.  

Further information
You can read the full article online, ‘The Impact Of Brexit On UK’s Connected And Autonomous Vehicle Industry’