SMMT Issues Guide to Selling Driverless Vehicles

The SMMT has published a new set of guiding principles to ensure the marketing of automated vehicles is clear and comprehensible.  We’re entering uncharted waters here, so it’s valuable to have a leading authority setting out a map.

The industry-led initiative, developed and agreed by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and various stakeholders, provides principles recognised and supported by industry, government and the Advertising Standards Authority.

Basically, the guide is to ensure that we deal with facts and ensure that the public fully understand the capabilities of the new vehicles.

The guiding principles state that:

  • 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.
  • An automated driving feature must be described sufficiently clearly so that it is distinguished from an assisted driving feature.
  • Where both automated driving and assisted driving features are described, they must be clearly distinguished from each other.
  • An assisted driving feature should not be described in a way that could convey the impression that it is an automated driving feature.
  • 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: “The UK is at the forefront of the introduction of automated vehicles, which has tremendous potential to save lives, improve mobility for all and drive economic growth. 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.”