Thursday, 31 May 2018 09:35

Insurance Hearing Shows Need for Autonomous Vehicles Data Access

Written by Brittney Kohler, CitiesSpeak


The second major takeaway from the hearing centered on the shifting landscape of the insurance market itself in response to AVs entering and taking over the automotive scene. Gammelgard said that higher and higher levels of automation on the road “will necessitate changes in the types of policies offered” by insurance companies, particularly as vehicle ownership shifts from the individual to corporate level. David Carlson said that as the technologies advance, the “liability pendulum will shift from personal auto to commercial product liability.”

This means that companies will likely buy insurance policies on a fleet basis. Carlson said that “fleet coverages are likely to become admitted coverages subject to greater underwriting and rating security.” Such a shift from personal to commercial insurance begs the question of what individuals will do to protect themselves from risk. Some, such as Gammelgard, see personal mobility coverage rising--- policies that “insure the person on every step of their day.”

As the hearing showed, AVs stand to revolutionize the transportation industry and the insurance guidelines for it. This technology could bring mobility to those who are traditionally restricted, such as the older Americans and those who have disabilities.

The experts at the hearing showed that part of a responsible rollout would address data sharing from AVs, and specifically, continuing to make safety data available to the public and insurance companies so that they can make accurate risk-based assessments. Congress still could include a more certain answer on data access in the AV START Act, and cities along with the insurance industry should be watching what this means for the future of our roads.

We thank CitiesSpeak for reprint permission.

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