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What does the new Autonomous Vehicle Bill say about the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle industry?

The Autonomous Vehicle Bill, currently under scrutiny and discussion, could introduce significant changes that directly impact the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) industry in the United Kingdom.

This groundbreaking legislation is set to reshape the way these services are provided in the era of automated vehicles.

A key part of the Bill is a pivotal ‘disapplication’ of existing taxi, private hire vehicle, and bus legislation.

This ‘disapplication’ can be considered in two ways. It either opens the door to a new set of legislation that would detail how operators of autonomous vehicles serve their customers in a currently undefined autonomous ridehail system, overriding current taxi legislation, or it protects the taxi and PHV from autonomous vehicles being used to transport people for a fee.

So what does the Autonomous Vehicle Bill say exactly?

Within the Bill there is a disapplication of taxi, private hire vehicle and bus legislation. In Section 83 it states:

(1) Subsections (2) and (3) apply while a permit holder is providing an automated passenger service in an area in which, and in a vehicle in which, services may be provided under the permit.

(2) The vehicle is not to be treated for any purpose as being, or as being used or operated as—

(a) a hackney carriage within the meaning of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 or the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869,

(b) a private hire vehicle within the meaning of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998, the Plymouth City Council Act 1975, or Part 2 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976,

(c) a public service vehicle within the meaning of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, or

(d) a hire car within the meaning of section 23 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

(3) The provision of the service is not to be treated as driving, standing or plying for hire with the vehicle for the purposes of section 45 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.


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