Driverless Cars And Associated Risks

People seem to love having technological advancements in their car to enhance their driving experience.  But, what if your vehicle could drive itself?  Some car companies are supposedly working on creating driverless cars.

Safety advantages are possible since software can’t get tired, drunk or distracted and the driver could give their undivided attention to work-related tasks or personal phone calls.  As good as this may sound, though, what will happen should driverless cars collide?  Where do you point the finger if human error is not a factor?

Driverless car collisions will most likely cause a rise in product-liability actions.  Therefore, the finger may be pointed at a software failure.  But, if the collision involves a human driver, the first reaction might be to start with the assumption that human error is at fault.

Murphy’s Law

Some might say that all would be just fine with software driving your car for you… yet ‘anything that can go wrong will go wrong’.  Nobody wants to be the victim of a software glitch going 65+ mph on the highway.  Although, with no data, it may be too soon take a stand that software fallibility is more dangerous than human error and bad drivers.

Cyber Risks

Somebody playing with the software could possibly disable brakes, interrupt the car’s interaction with stop signs/stop lights or do something else unspeakable.  An individual could be ‘kidnapped’ by hacking their car, driving it somewhere remote and locking them in until ransom is received.  Another threat is taking control of a car and using it in an act of terrorism.  Who would like to have their car tinkered with by somebody who wants to ensure a collision?

Increased Product-Liability Risks

Currently, lawsuits arise against car manufacturers from events like defective brakes or sudden acceleration.  With driverless cars, people could imagine numerous things that could go wrong.  And in the event of an accident or collision, blame will fall on the software and it’s yet unknown if a glitch or malfunction will be detectable and able to be proven.

One scenario to consider is a person consuming more alcohol than they would normally because they have complete confidence in their driverless car.  If driverless cars are programmed to switch to manual during certain road or weather conditions, this person will be unfit to drive if that switch occurs.  If an accident results, figuring out who or what is to blame could cause quite the headache.

They’re not here yet but with the possibility of driverless cars becoming a reality, there are some things to think about, such as your miami car insurance.  If any kind of glitch or malfunction is possible will car companies update their policies to include coverage, require an endorsement or exclude coverage for any kind of mishap caused by an error in a car’s software?  In the early years of driverless cars, it’s not impossible for car insurance companies to want nothing to do with claims arising from faulty software created by a car manufacturer.  If this happens in the future, it would be wise to find out what is or is not covered if you start salivating over a driverless car.

Sadly, we are unable to answer any questions regarding future cars and what car insurance companies will do in response to future automotive advancements, but if you have any questions that pertain to today’s world, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 305-270-2100.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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