The driverless car has so far had a bumpy ride with the most recent news story on the 26th March 2017 reporting that Uber had suspended its fleet of self driving cars following a crash in Arizona where it is reported "a third party failed to yield to the self driving car".
The photograph of the Arizona crash involving the Uber self driving car showed the car to be on its side which is quite worrying when such vehicles are supposed to enhance safety.
The question of insurance for driverless cars and how that might work has been a hot topic since early 2015 when trials began for driverless cars.
I read with interest the below linked article from the Bank of England dated 17th March 2017 titled "Potential impacts of autonomous vehicles on the UK insurance sector". At page 6 of the article it touches upon compulsory motor insurance including for autonomous vehicles but also raises the prospect of insurance to cover the "product" rather than the driver in recognition that the "product" will have control of the vehicle.
The Bank of England article, in my view, advances the discussion that myself and others have highlighted in previous articles/blogs as to who would be liable for a crash involving a driverless car (driver or vehicle) as well as who would pay (insurer of the vehicle or the manufacturer). These are important questions for those persons who as a result of a crash have suffered serious injury or have been bereaved.
It seems likely that the driverless car, regardless of its well publicised set backs, will in due time be widely introduced on to our roads therefore it is important we have a clear framework for civil redress.
I coninue to watch this development with interest!
The development and uptake of autonomous vehicles (AVs) is likely to be gradual. Nonetheless a survey of industry experts highlights the diversity of responses and suggests rapid uptake is possible. This reflects differing views on the extent of the many technological, ethical and regulatory hurdles that remain.