This article from lloyds.com provides an overview of the emerging regulatory implications arising out of the rapid development of autonomous vehicle technology.
Occasionally, the insurance industry finds itself issued with a challenge as a result of technical developments. This is certainly true of the advances in autonomous vehicles.
At the same time, regulators and policymakers need to respond too. This article therefore provides an overview of the emerging regulatory ramifications that insurers will want to monitor closely. It is not intended to be an exhaustive research nor does it constitute Lloyd’s official position.
While the development of autonomous technologies is rapidly under way and early prototypes are already available, there are barriers to a shift to autonomous driving that need to be overcome before the technology is widely adopted.
Global regulatory and best standard developments
Clarification of the requirements for the different types of automated vehicles is necessary to support innovation, investment and consumer confidence. In Australia, enabling legislation1 has been passed in South Australia to support on-road trials to enable confidence that autonomous vehicles can operate safely on public roads alongside other vehicle types and road users. Other jurisdictions have determined that they can support on-road trial under current bodies of legislation.
China, meanwhile, is making strides in its bid to become the largest market for autonomous vehicles within 15 years. In April 2016, the media announced that the Tsinghua University – with the support of the national government – is planning on issuing a draft roadmap2 setting out technical standards for cars to communicate with each other together with the infrastructure and regulatory guidelines providing a unified framework.
The US, by contrast, has a variety of state laws and standards to contend with. As of January 2016, California, Michigan, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee and Washington D.C. had enacted legislation allowing limited driverless vehicle testing on public roadways3. However, industry experts warn that the development of this new technology may be held back by a lack of coordination and the absence of a nation-wide regulatory framework.