Transport Minister John Hayes has told the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee that self-driving cars may not necessarily be a good thing and their implementation should not be left to the free market.
The Independent reports that John Hayes rejects the “Whiggish assumption that all change means progress” and that while there may be advantages to the new vehicles, the Government would proceed with caution.
It says he believes autonomous vehicles would need to be regulated if they were to be made to work for the whole of society and that the creators of such vehicles would not be “motivated in the first instance by virtue”.
The Independent quotes him as saying, “I was a businessman and I was interested in the commercial success of my business, nothing much more than that.
“We shouldn’t expect, and it’s not reasonable to expect, the technologists and businesses associated with this to take that bigger view, that societal view, that communal view.”
He added: “There is a kind of Whiggish assumption that all change means progress, which I completely refute. Of course the truth is that in each of and all of our lives many things change, some for the better and some for the worse.”
Mr Hayes is minister responsible for, among other things, Highways England, the Modern Transport Bill and skills and innovation.