Lutz Pathfinder
Self-driving car projects like the Lutz Pathfinder are worth £51bn to UK economyUK Autodrive

The government is at pains to stress data collected by connected and autonomous cars of the near future will not be used to keep track of drivers, or be used to prosecute speeders.

Ed Vaizey, minister of the department for culture, media and sport, said repeatedly at the SMMT Connected conference that smart cars with internet connections will not share the owner's data. He said: "As a government you have to start with the principle than the citizen owns their data... I don't want to know if you're speeding [but] I may want to know a car is speeding.

"I might also want to know if you've skidded and that you're safe. That data can then be transferred down the line to tell drivers of a new hazard - that to me is a good thing to have and enhances safety."

This route is one currently being taken by Volvo, which is developing a system to alert drivers if a car has skidded on a section of road due to poor weather conditions.

MP Ed Vaizey
Autonomous car laws and legislation must be addressed, but data collected will not be used to catch speeders, says MP Ed VaizeyIBTimes UK

Law and legislation for driverless cars

Vaizey added some of the biggest challenges posed by the connected car revolution will regard law and legislation. When asked by host Justin Webb if we have laws to address the implications of an autonomous car killing someone, Vaizey said: "The simple answer is we don't know, but we know the questions we need to ask as we begin autonomous vehicles to the road.

"We need to work out a very clear framework for liability. We are on a journey down a road, we have this advantage [over other countries] and massive wave of investment coming, and opportunities to testbed autonomous driving in real-time situations and work out the thorny legal implications."

The fear of connected cars being hacked like computers and smartphones was raised. "We have to provide absolutely rigid security around autonomous driving," Vaizey said. "We have to discuss the use of data in autonomous driving and we have to discuss legal liability issues as well. It's not just about the technology."

When asked how the government plans to educate the workforce about autonomous and connected cars - an industry claimed to generate 320,000 jobs between now and 2030 - Vaizey said: "It's going to be very very hard in the workforce of the future to come to the workplace without digital skills. A massive investment is needed and massive focus on giving these skills."