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Research Report

Unsettled Legal Issues Facing Automated Vehicles

2020-02-28
EPR2020005
This SAE EDGE Research Report explores the many legal issues raised by the advent of automated vehicles. While promised to bring major changes to our lives, there are significant legal challenges that have to be overcome before they can see widespread use. A century’s worth of law and regulation were written with only human drivers in mind, meaning they have to be amended before machines can take the wheel. Everything from key federal safety regulations down to local parking laws will have to shift in the face of AVs. This report undertakes an examination of the AV laws of Nevada, California, Michigan, and Arizona, along with two failed federal AV bills, to better understand how lawmakers have approached the technology. States have traditionally regulated a great deal of what happens on the road, but does that still make sense in a world with AVs? Would the nascent AV industry be able to survive in a world with fifty potential sets of rules?
Research Report

Unsettled Issues Facing Automated Vehicles and Insurance

2020-08-05
EPR2020015
This SAE EDGE™ Research Report explores how the deployment of automated vehicles (AVs) will affect the insurance industry and the principles of liability that underly the structure of insurance in the US. As we trade human drivers for suites of sensors and computers, who (or what) is responsible when there is a crash? The owner of the vehicle? The automaker that built it? The programmer that wrote the code? Insurers have over 100 years of experience and data covering human drivers, but with only a few years’ worth of information on AVs – how can they properly predict the true risks associated with their deployment? Without an understanding of the nature and risks of AVs, how can the government agencies that regulate the insurance industry provide proper oversight? Do the challenges AVs present require a total reworking of our insurance and liability systems, or can our current structures be adapted to fit them with minor modifications?
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