Unsettled Issues Facing Automated Vehicles and Insurance
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?