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Driverless car crash will challenge US liability laws

In Action Summary

With the rise of autonomous vehicles and telematics technology, the traditional motor insurance industry is facing eroding premiums and shrinking market share – with the fear of losing out also gripping industry incumbents.

However, the delicate balance between sensors and location-based software that underpins autonomous vehicle technology still has lot to prove. A recent autonomous vehicle crash involving a Chevy Bolt and a motorcyclist has raised serious questions about the role that traditional insurers will play in autonomous car accidents

Other industry experts are warning that current transportation laws will need to be dramatically upgraded in order to deal with the unforeseen events that driverless cars will give rise to.

Data protection will also be an issue that autonomous vehicle manufacturers will have to grapple with. For a verdict to be made, it is important to see the accident/car crash data collected by the vehicle sensors. Allianz has proposed setting up an independent trustee who will control this sort of customer data. The data can then be accessed by the lawmakers to identify the liability in similar vehicle accidents.

One of the key challenges for the future of automated driving will be determining where liability rests in the event of an accident

Whatever the outcome, these technical and legal issues will pale in comparison to the energy efficiencies and lives saved by the advent of driverless cars.


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