Straight from science fiction movies, driverless drone cars are becoming a fast reality. The large tech company Google continues to improve and test their self-driving car near the Silicon Valley area. In September, Cadillac announced that they could introduce a self-driving car as soon as 2017. It will come with hands and foot-free driving for freeways and stop-and-go traffic.
Lawmakers in a Georgia are trying to plan for this rapidly accelerating technology. It brings up concerns for auto insurance companies. For example, who will be responsible in accidents? How will driverless cars interact with standard vehicles? Presenters wrote three columns at the first hearing of the Georgia House Study committee.
In a number of states, legislators have passed laws that require drivers to always be ready to take control over the vehicles in operation. For car insurance, this means the driver will remain liable for the operation of the vehicle. However, if we truly believe that cars will one day be fully autonomous and safer than human-controlled vehicles, is this the right choice? Particularly when this technology is first starting it will be a good idea.
The question remains, will state legislators ever allow for a fully autonomous vehicle? It depends on how the market reacts. Should demands raise, tremendous pressure will be placed on policymakers to allow for it. In addition, the law will influence the technological advancement of the driverless drone car. Whether it delays, encourages or prevents it.
This raises certain questions for auto insurance companies. For example, how much will people have to pay for driverless car insurance. In some cases, it could become extremely difficult to blame the driver for negligence. Without recovering the damages, those injured would be forced to sue the car manufacturer for liability. Some in Georgia have urged car insurance companies to apply a no fault rule. Under this rule, the operator of the autonomous vehicle will automatically be held responsible for the damages.
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Atlanta Journal Constitution
The Augusta Chronicle
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