Autonomous vehicles will move closer to becoming a reality, but public scrutiny over safety concerns will not let up, according to Clyde & Co partner Mark Hemsted.
Making his prediction for insurance in 2019 as part of a series of articles on the key trends in the next year, Hemsted pinpointed the introduction of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act, which legislates for how these vehicles should be insured, and who is liable in the event of a collision involving an autonomous vehicle, as a key step toward driverless cars.
Further consultations on their regulation are due in 2019, and manufacturers have promised to continue to invest in autonomous vehicles and engage in on-road testing.
But, according to Hemsted, any negative side effects of this testing will “be subject to significant news reporting, as has been seen this year, particularly in relation to incidents involving fatalities in the US”.
“We anticipate further incidents will attract enhanced scrutiny concerning the safety of vehicles on the road, with already falling consumer confidence in autonomous vehicles in the US as an example of the impact this can have.”