Autonomous Cars And Auto Insurance: New York’s Path To The Future – More than a century after Karl Benz developed the world’s first gasoline-fueled, four-stroke engine in 19th-century Germany, global technologists are anticipating the fastest and most radical disruption to transportation today: the truly “automobile.”

This seismic shift toward vehicle autonomy will end what was once a purely human function, and overturn the carefully crafted, 100-year-old matrix of federal, state, and local laws and regulations that currently govern driving.

Autonomous Cars And Auto Insurance: New York’s Path To The Future

Autonomous Cars And Auto Insurance: New York's Path To The Future

The technology is highly anticipated to be one of the most transformative technological changes of our time. Indeed, as cars mature into cleaner, smarter vehicles, traffic accidents will decrease (2016 was the deadliest traffic year in a decade, according to federal data) and traffic congestion will evaporate (platoon technology will allow fast moving, closely following flows of cars). – at least the thought.

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But while technologists work every day to demonstrate the road-readiness of autonomous vehicles (to regulators, investors, and consumers), the actual pace of the transition to widespread autonomy will be determined first by public policy and second by science.

That’s the problem—when America becomes driverless—government will wield the sole decisive power: How and when policymakers address safety, cybersecurity, licensing, and liability issues will accelerate or halt the autonomous revolution.

Autonomous vehicles are learning by making and in some cases failing. The question then becomes: Will governments comply with the wide berth necessary to test, develop and deploy next-generation cars on public roads?

Historically, the US federal government has regulated driving, leaving driver regulations up to the states. But in the case of highly autonomous vehicles, the vehicle itself acts as the driver, blurring the line between state and federal government regulatory responsibilities.

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To date, there is no federal legislation for autonomous vehicles. In that regulatory vacuum, state legislatures and legislatures have begun developing piecemeal and sometimes conflicting laws governing the testing and licensing of autonomous vehicles. Automakers began testing test vehicles.

As of 2012, at least 41 US states and the District of Columbia have considered autonomous vehicle legislation. Of those, 21 have been passed, while the governors of four other states have issued executive orders. Main concerns:

Operation on Public Roads: The earliest wave of vehicle legislation (in California, Florida, and Nevada) dealt with the safe operation and testing of driverless cars. These bills established earlier policy directives from federal regulators or legislative acts of Congress, setting a loose standard for successive states to adopt. In the broadest sense, these states require those testing autonomous vehicles to notify state regulators and, in some cases, obtain a special license for pending vehicle testing. Some states have imposed black box-like data capture, storage, and transfer requirements for experimental AVS, while others have imposed requirements on operators (eg, because of security flaws or qualified engineers). While 21 states and the District of Columbia have approved the use and testing of autonomous vehicles to some extent, more than half have not given the clear green light.

Autonomous Cars And Auto Insurance: New York's Path To The Future

Insurance and Liability: The latest wave of state legislation required automakers and technologists testing autonomous vehicles on public roads to provide proof of at least $5 million in insurance (Connecticut, New York). Because many of the earliest autonomous vehicles were retrofitted by a third party for driverless cars, early states (DC, Nevada, and Michigan) expressly exempted manufacturers from some liability concerns when the cars were modified after the market. . More recently, as automakers themselves have begun developing and testing highly autonomous vehicles, state lawmakers have held automakers responsible for assuming that automated driving systems were operating at the time of a crash.

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Commercial vehicles: Since 2012, eight states (Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida, which introduced the blue ribbon panel) have passed laws granting special privileges to commercial vehicles, which are very close to existing. law enforcement vehicles. Typically, the bills defined a coordinated commercial platoon as a group of self-contained heavy-duty trucks moving bumper-to-bumper under the control of a single human operator in the main vehicle. In practice, the relaxation of regulations allows many large trucks to be connected to a single married unit.

SAE International, officially known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, rates car autonomy on a six-level, end-to-end scale.

The drive helps manage acceleration and deceleration, along with the requirements for the human driver to perform the rest of the dynamic tasks. For example adaptive cruise control or park assist.

Driver assistance systems manage steering and acceleration and deceleration by intelligently processing environmental information while the human driver handles the rest of the dynamic tasks.

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Automated driving systems handle all aspects of the driving task, expecting the driver to respond and intervene when and where necessary.

Automate all aspects of the driving task within defined geographic connections (ie, campuses or business districts).

Full driving performance with automatic transmission system in all road and environmental conditions. No human intervention is required, so the normal parts of the car (steering wheel, pedals) are removed.

Autonomous Cars And Auto Insurance: New York's Path To The Future

Standard rulemaking is a slow process, sometimes taking up to eight years, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), like even the states, has shown a desire to access better tools for determining the future of autonomy. began developing specialized security systems. In 2016, the agency released what it billed as policy guidance for states and automakers. But adherence to the guideline, which includes a 15-point safety margin for manufacturers and testers, was voluntary.

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In September 2017, the US House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill to formalize new federal safety regulations to strengthen NHTSA. autonomous vehicles. The new legislation, which has cleared the House and is awaiting Senate consideration, would explicitly apply state regulations and introduce special exemptions for test vehicles that do not meet current federal vehicle safety standards, which are far behind modern technology. however, it still requires the driver to be present and standard driving systems such as the steering wheel and accelerator and accelerator pedals.

Major automakers such as Ford Motor Company have pledged to mass-produce models of highly autonomous cars without steering wheels, but ultimately the speed of the technology to the mass market will be determined in Washington, not Silicon Valley. As technology continues to outpace existing laws and regulations, policymakers will dictate the impact of the external future by understanding a radical overhaul of federal safety regulations and laws governing driver and manufacturer liability, cybersecurity, federal subsidies, and data privacy. is required.

In particular, redesigning our urban transportation system to accommodate smart cars, control and ownership of vehicle data is one of the most pressing issues facing federal lawmakers.

Over the past 18 months, the industry has aggressively lobbied federal lawmakers for a single federal standard, arguing that a flaw in state regulations would ultimately hurt autonomous vehicle testing and market expansion. If each state has different testing systems, these requirements will slow down the ability to test in different climates and development zones (urban vs. rural vs. city street).

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While billions have been spent on research and development for the components and artificial intelligence needed to drive driverless cars, autonomous cars will need a smart city to make them truly intelligent.

Autonomous cars are only as smart as their environment allows, and today’s urban landscape is completely unprepared for the technology infrastructure that future generations will need. The amount of data autonomous cars will receive and send to and from other cars will be staggering, and few cities have the resources to process traffic control systems for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications.

The technology infrastructure landscape remains untouched in the omnibus infrastructure bill until lawmakers determine who will pay the costs, whether cities, states, the federal government or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Autonomous Cars And Auto Insurance: New York's Path To The Future

Just as today’s cars run on oil, so will tomorrow’s data. Look: a connected car will put 25 gigabytes of data into the cloud every hour, while the average wireless customer will use only 1.8 GB in a month.

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As first-generation sensors, radars, V2V, V2I, and mapping applications that drive today’s autonomous cars mature into more advanced systems, the data they consume will grow rapidly as well.

To date, the issue of vehicle data and tracking (be it personal, geo-positioned, or operational) has only been respectfully addressed in federal law.

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