Many motorists will be aware that trials have been taking place to do with the possible introduction of “automated” cars on roads here in the UK. Obviously, such vehicles will need to be insured and discussions will have been happening and will no doubt continue to take place with insurance companies about how best these vehicles can be insured and who should be responsible if a road traffic accident takes place i.e. the driver and/or the vehicle manufacturer.
Well, the insurance industry has recently published 10 criteria that it feels should be applied for a car to be classed as “automated”. Below we list those criteria: –
1. Back up systems – if any of the systems on the car were to fail there should be adequate safeguards that would immediately come into play.
2. Naming – a clear description should be provided of the capability of an automated vehicle.
3. Driving Safely – the car should be capable of dealing with all possible situations in a reasonable manner on its own.
4. Abiding with the law- the Highway Code as well as traffic laws in the UK should be adhered to.
5. Intervening in an emergency – cars should be able to deal with emergency situations to prevent or avoid accidents.
6. Accident data – should an accident take place then the vehicle should be able to have a record and provide a report about the systems that were being used.
7. Stopping in a safe manner – if the driver is not able to regain control of the car or the vehicle is not able to carry on then the car should be able to come to a halt safely.
8. Handing over in a clear manner – when control of the car is handed over then the procedure should be undertaken on an “offer and confirm” basis.
9. Handing over when not anticipated – sufficient and suitable notice should be provided when it is necessary to return control of the driving when not expected.
10. Specific locations – a car can only be driven in an automated way when in certain areas or on sorts of roads through geo-fencing.
It will be interesting to hear further about the above and we will continue to keep you updated. Surely it cannot be too long before we see automated vehicles on our roads being driven by members of the public in a “live” situation rather than under test conditions. No doubt car insurance for such vehicles will be sorted out in time.