Self-driving cars and the auto insurance industry

Many Louisiana residents have likely heard about self-driving cars and are probably intrigued by them. Companies such as Google are touting their autonomous cars with claims that they will lead to zero accident fatalities.

Against this backdrop, a question arises regarding what might happen to the auto insurance industry. While it will likely face some disruption, it is still likely to stay in place. No matter how a car might be programmed, it is impossible to completely prevent all accidents from happening. An autonomous car may not be able to avoid another vehicle that collides with it, for instance.

Other scenarios that might occur leading to accidents and injuries are software failures. The code for autonomous cars is highly complex. It is possible that a software crash could happen, resulting in all of the cars using the software to simultaneously have problems if they are networked. Software programs can also be attacked by computer hackers who could change the code to make accidents happen. One possibility is that insurance companies will change the manner in which they do business, charging hourly rates when a car detects that a person is likelier to be involved in an accident if he or she is forced to momentarily take over.

A car crash can leave people severely injured. When a crash is caused by the negligence of another driver, the victims often have their attorneys sue the at-fault motorist in order to recover damages to pay for their losses. If autonomous cars become a reality and they are involved in accidents, it will be interesting to see how liability is handled.

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