As autonomous technology starts to hit the market, the number of accidents involving autonomous vehicles (AVs) will inevitably increase as well, and as such, insurance carriers and claims professionals must be ready to face new challenges in investigating property damage and bodily injury claims. In her Claims Management magazine article, “Are We There Yet? Paving the Way for Autonomous Vehicle Claims,” Patice Gore discussed the current federal policies and state laws related to AVs, and the various obstacles claims professionals will likely face as this technology continues to evolve.
“Fact investigation and determining liability are only two significant obstacles that claims professionals may encounter with AV claims in the near future,” wrote Gore. “Ascertaining the circumstances leading up to the collision will determine whether liability lies with the operator, the manufacturer, or another party. [The] data stored by the AV may be crucial in determining what happened prior to the collision and may provide clues as to the performance of the autonomous technology.”
However, this may not be as easy as it sounds. Gore added, “Claims professionals will need to gain access to the stored data in order to re-create the events leading up to the collision, particularly when the facts cannot be obtained from the individuals involved. [California law] requires the manufacturer to disclose the fact that the AV collects certain data, [but] the statute does not specify who owns the collected data, and it does not include provisions as to permitted uses of the data and liability for unauthorized access.”
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