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RMIReport1People/political parties

The New Year Honours lists 2016, were published on 31 Dec, which recognise the achievements of a wide range of people across the UK. In addition to the honours recipients, this year sees 3 new admissions to the Order of Merit. The Order of Merit is awarded to those who have rendered exceptionally meritorious services towards the advancement of the arts, learning, literature and science. The award is in the personal gift of the Queen, and is limited to 24 living recipients.

The Queen has admitted Professor The Lord Darzi, for medicine, Professor Dame Ann Dowling for mechanical engineering and Sir James Dyson for his work in industrial design.

The full list can be found here:

  • 6 January 2016 – Prime Minister David Cameron visits Germany where he is expected to deliver a speech and hold an informal meeting with German Chancellor  Angela Merkel  in Bavaria
  • 6 January 2016 – Communities Secretary Greg Clark and shadow local government minister  Steve Reed  speak at the annual  Local Government Association  conference (10:00am)
  • 6 January 2016 – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to publish an improvement framework for education

Press releases

Collisions and crashes put the brakes on Brits’ appetite for driverless cars

Press Releases – UK Stakeholder – uSwitch

  • One year since the Government announced driverless car trials on UK roads, reports of collisions have made two thirds (66%) of Brits more concerned about the technology [1]
  • Almost half (49%) of Brits refuse to be a passenger in a driverless car [2]
  • 49% of Brits don’t trust autonomous cars to make nuanced decisions, a fifth (20%) are worried that cars will stop suddenly or drive too slowly and 45% are concerned the software could be hacked [3]
  • Two fifths of Brits (41%) expect their insurance premium to skyrocket, even if they do not own an autonomous vehicle themselves [4]

The Government wants the UK to become a world leader in driverless car technology. Yet reports of collisions involving self-driving cars have made two thirds (66%) of Brits more concerned about autonomous car technology[1] than before the trials began, according to new research by , the price comparison site and switching service.

With almost half (49%) refusing to be a passenger in a driverless car[2], consumers have deep concerns over road safety if there is no one behind the wheel.  Almost half (49%) don’t trust driverless cars to make nuanced decisions in the event of a difficult driving scenario[3] and a fifth (20%) are worried they will stop suddenly or drive too slowly[3].

But consumers’ appetites for driverless cars haven’t just been curbed by safety worries. Despite assurances from manufacturers that the computer systems powering driverless cars are secure, 45% are worried the software could be vulnerable to data breaches and their personal data compromised – especially in light of high-profile hacks[3].

Fears of adding to the ever-increasing cost of car insurance also threaten to put the brakes on plans. Two fifths (41%) believe their insurance premiums could skyrocket if the technology is introduced on public roads, even if they do not own an autonomous vehicle themselves. Just 15% believe their premiums could drop, despite claims the technology could eliminate driving incidents caused by human error[4].

These concerns could all be a significant blow to the Government, which has been in talks with Google about making Britain one of the first countries in the world to launch driverless cars on its roads.

But not all Brits are worried about the impact of this new technology. In fact, almost half (44%) believe driverless cars will make the roads safer by removing the element of human error, 30% think they will make their lives easier, and a quarter 24% of consumers see autonomous vehicles as the solution to tedious traffic jams[5].

Rod Jones, insurance expert at, says: “While the Government is motoring ahead with its driverless car plans, these could be put into reverse gear if consumers’ concerns aren’t addressed. Whether it’s confronting Google car collisions or clarifying confusion around liability in the event of a crash, cautious consumers have a number of worries.

“With human error accounting for around 90% of road accidents, the potential safety benefits of driverless cars are significant. But, if Britain is to become the world leader in driverless car technology, the Government, manufacturers and the insurance industry must address consumers’ concerns head on.”

Full release: Please contact me directly for full release.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 08/01/2016