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5 Questions California Is Dealing With in Regulating Driverless Vehicles

    2 minute read

    Government officials, safety advocates, and industry representatives are tackling more relevant questions about the future of driverless cars in California. In fact, they are planning on having the entire regulatory and statutory framework in place by the end of the year.

    However, before they can accomplish that goal, here are five key questions they will need to address:

    1. Will unlicensed drivers be allowed to operate driverless cars? Google recently completed a test in which a blind man completed an errand trip in a driverless car. Could this be a sign of what’s to come? What about underage drivers? Or elderly drivers with diminished skills? Or people with a DUI on their record? To get to an answer, technology will certainly be a factor, but lawmakers will have to make some judgment calls regarding the privilege of being behind the wheel of a driverless car.

    2. Will driverless cars be able to operate in inclement weather? Different parts of California experience pretty severe weather, from mountain blizzards to heavy NorCal rains to coastal fog (not to mention smoke from wildfires). Will the driverless vehicles be equipped to handle inclement driving conditions? Even those in which traditional drivers are discouraged from driving in?

    3. Who is responsible if/when a driverless car causes a collision? That is the potentially multi-million-dollar question, which is being closely watched by the legal community. Will the car’s operator be held liable, as with traditional auto accidents? Or will the manufacturer take responsibility as if it were a defective product?

    4. What about privacy issues? Remember, the first company to test driverless cars in California was Google, a company that is no stranger to collecting data about its customers and users. Will this carry over to driverless cars? Will the car’s producer be able to track real-time location, movements, and driver habits? Can this activity be stored on a database and used for other purposes?

    5. How much regulation of driverless car use is too much? This is by far the most important question that must be answered. In a perfect world, driverless cars will be able to be tested and operated without prohibitive laws that could stifle the growth of the industry, all the while not sacrificing the safety or rights of other drivers in California. Finding the right balance is the pivotal challenge faced by everyone who is addressing the issue of driverless cars.

    The Big Question – How Will Auto Insurance Rates Be Affected?

    There is also the question of how auto insurance rates will be affected for those who own driverless cars, since (ideally) driver error will largely be removed from the list of risks for accidents. That is a discussion for another day. Today, however your cars are not driverless and so the need for the right coverage continues. Contact Auto Insurance Specialists to get the lowest rates on policies in the state of California.

    The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. Auto Insurance Specialists, LLC makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.