Car makers given new marketing guidelines for driverless vehicle technology

Manufacturers will need to differentiate between ‘automated’ and ‘assisted’ systems

The automotive industry has committed to a new set of “guiding principles” for the marketing of vehicles with autonomous technology, published by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Developed and agreed by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ AV-DRiVE Group, the principles provide an outline for responsible advertising and communication relating to automated vehicles and their capabilities.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to make journeys safer, greener and more accessible for all, which is why we want to make the UK the best place to trial, develop and deploy their technology, to ensure we are among the first to realise their benefits.”

The industry-led initiative aims to ensure consumers receive consistent and clear information regarding automated driving features, ahead of their expected introduction to British roads in 2022.

Guiding principles for marketing automated vehicles

  1. An automated driving feature must be described sufficiently clearly so as not to mislead, including setting out the circumstances in which that feature can function.
  2. An automated driving feature must be described sufficiently clearly so that it is distinguished from an assisted driving feature.
  3. Where both automated driving and assisted driving features are described, they must be clearly distinguished from each other.
  4. An assisted driving feature should not be described in a way that could convey the impression that it is an automated driving feature.
  5. The name of an automated or assisted driving feature must not mislead by conveying that it is the other – ancillary words may be necessary to avoid confusion – for example for an assisted driving feature, by making it clear that the driver must be in control at all times.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “It is essential that this revolutionary technology is marketed accurately and responsibly, and we are delighted to have brought together industry, government and other key stakeholders to develop a series of guiding principles that will ensure consumers will have clarity and confidence over their capabilities from when these advanced vehicles first make their way into showrooms.”

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