Self-driving cars and the auto insurance industry

Many Missourians have heard about self-driving cars and the promises of the companies who are making them that they will significantly reduce if not end fatal traffic collisions. These vehicles are designed to avoid accidents, so people might wonder whether or not the insurance industry will still be needed.

While it is understandable why people might believe that the auto insurance industry will be obsolete following the advent of self-driving cars, that is unlikely to happen. There are several reasons why the auto insurance industry may still be necessary even if the nation’s vehicle stock was to be entirely replaced by these cars.

Self-driving cars operate by using software that is designed to power them. It is possible that there could be coding issues in the millions of strings of code that may cause major problems, resulting in crashes or complete system-wide failures. Other possible problems involve hackers making changes that cause the vehicles to engage in collisions rather than avoiding them. These cars are designed to allow people to assume control when needed, and more crashes could happen when drivers do just that.

No system is perfect, and failures do and will happen. While the auto insurance industry may need to evolve after self-driving cars are released en masse into the marketplace, it is likely to still be needed in multiple capacities long afterwards. One issue that could occur is when a person suffers a personal injury in an accident involving an at-fault driverless vehicle. There may be questions regarding who to name as the responsible party. For now, some companies that are developing these cars have said that they will self-insure their vehicles. If a person is injured in such an accident, a personal injury lawyer may analyze the case in order to determine who to name as the defendant.