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Insuring Self-Driving Vehicles

Insuring Self-Driving Vehicles

The transportation company Uber recently made headlines in the state of California by adding self-driving cars (also known as autonomous vehicles) to their fleet. Self-driving cars have been tested in controlled environments for several years, but are now being tested on roads in a city near you, though some are not operating legally. Are Self-Driving Cars Legal? The short answer is: no. The longer answer is: not right now, but possibly soon, depending on where you live. Currently only 7 states have passed legislation that allows for the testing of self-driving vehicles on public roads, including California. These laws only cover test vehicles, and do not include the sale or use of these vehicles for anything other than testing purposes. Many other states have legislation that has either recently failed or is currently in committee. While the process of legislating testing and eventual sales of self-driving vehicles could gain momentum with positive test outcomes in other states, a world full of autonomous vehicles still seems pretty far away. Why All the Regulations? In states like California where testing is legal, vehicles are expected to be registered and clearly marked as test vehicles. A human driver usually must accompany the vehicle, ready to take over at a moment’s notice should the vehicle fail to comply with the rules of the road. The Uber vehicles in San Francisco were not registered, nor were they clearly marked as test vehicles, blatantly violating state regulations and turning fares into unwitting guinea pigs. How many people would willingly get into a test vehicle, considering the potential risks?. Testing regulations also require that the manufacturing...