Rethinking Insurance and Liability in the Transformative Age of Autonomous Vehicles

The RAND Institute for Civil Justice held a workshop in July 2017 on the challenges and opportunities likely to confront the automobile insurance industry with the coming of autonomous vehicles (AVs). The workshop drew participants from insurance, law, auto manufacture, regulation, and consumer interests, with many participants already engaged with the impact of AVs. They were asked to address the challenges to existing liability and insurance and to consider responses to potential disruptions, identifying key areas for study in the transition period. Several major themes were identified. First, AVs may not affect liability and insurance activities in the near future, due to the current fleet of 260 million non-AVs which will only gradually disappear; a 30-year transition period has been estimated for the transition. At present, individual ownership of AVs does not exist, and it was agreed that until such ownership is common, there will be no changes in insurance industry standards. The shift to AVs could bring about a change of liability from an AV owner to the manufacturer, but more information is needed on this. Another important concern is AV data, which one participant stated is the primary issue for the insurance industry. It was asserted that stakeholders are already thinking about data issues, guarding their own data in the meantime. It is not clear what role the government might play in AV data-sharing, but privacy will be a key issue, and methods of rendering data anonymous will be critical. The protection of AVs from malicious hacking emerged as another major theme. Current auto insurance policies may not cover hacking of AVs, but insurers will identify openings for new policies. The final theme was the need for the insurance industry to be proactive and to explore the possibilities for new insurance models, including international cooperation. The importance of finding ways of modernizing regulations to deal with disruptive technologies such as AVs was generally recognized by the group.

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    RAND Corporation

    Santa Monica, CA  United States 


    Institute for Civil Justice, 1700 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138
    Santa Monica, CA  United States  90407-2138
  • Authors:
    • Anderson, James M
    • Kalra, Nidhi
    • Stanley, Karlyn D
    • Morikawa, Jamie
  • Publication Date: 2018


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 37p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01676050
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9781977400840
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CF-383-RC
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 10 2018 4:35PM