Autonomous transportation and risk management: old maps for new roads?

By Carolyn Boyle – Editorial Services Director

Thanks to advances in autonomous technology, we stand poised on the cusp of a revolution that has the potential to transform transport in the 21st century as radically as Henry Ford’s Model T assembly line did in the early 20th century.  As legislators and regulators scramble to catch up, the landscape continues to evolve. In September 2017 the US House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to define the role of state and local governments in regulating autonomous vehicles, creating a pathway to market via an exemption process while the federal government comes up with final rules on necessary safety features and operational requirements. Meanwhile, agencies such as the Department of Transportation continue to issue guidance and policies to support the development and deployment of this new technology.

 Questions likewise abound over the issue of liability and where it rests in an automated world, compounding this uncertainty and posing further risk management challenges. Autonomous vehicles are complex products which combine software and hardware from many different suppliers. Moreover, once in circulation, they…

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