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Self-Driving Cars and Insurance: Do We Know Where We Are Heading?

Friday, March 23, 2018 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Boston Bar Association - 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA


In the fall of 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation outlined ambitious plans to regulate autonomous vehicles that called for the federal government, rather than states, to take the lead in regulating these vehicles.  One area that was specifically left to states, however, was the regulation of insurance requirements for self-driving cars.  But if the states are to regulate the insurance requirements for self-driving cars, what should those requirements be?  Current state-based auto insurance requirements that are based upon human drivers of conventional cars may not necessarily be appropriate. 

Rob Whitney, former General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, will be exploring these issues in this timely program.  As Mr. Whitney will discuss, while some states have begun to regulate the testing of self-driving cars, the reality is that the industry is already moving well beyond the testing phase. Partially or fully autonomous vehicles are already operating on our roads, with human drivers who are not paying sufficient attention to the road while in fully autonomous and partially autonomous mode, endangering themselves and others.  Mr. Whitney will discuss how states can develop insurance requirements for these drivers and/or vehicles that would cover such situations.

Sponsoring Section/Committee(s):




Carolyn Barrett


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