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The Future of Insurance: Automated Vehicles Hero image

The Future of Insurance: Automated Vehicles

Automated vehicles are coming to Canada’s roads. Are we ready for them?

A new reality demands new legislation to protect Canadians

With automated vehicles starting to come to Canada’s roads, there’s a need to update provincial insurance laws to ensure that people injured in collisions involving these vehicles can be compensated in a fair and timely manner. There’s also a need to update the federal vehicle safety standards to reflect the greater reliance on technology in operating these vehicles.

Currently, auto insurance policies prescribed in provincial laws are built on the notion that human error is the primary cause of motor vehicle collisions. But, as humans cede control of driving to automated technology, collisions may be caused by product malfunction.

This shift in responsibility for collisions from humans to automated technology means many injured people will have to proceed through product liability litigation to get compensated. Product liability litigation is more complex and takes years longer to resolve than traditional motor vehicle liability claims. The longer wait will delay compensation for many people who use automated vehicles or who are injured in a collision involving an automated vehicle.

Vehicles with fully automated capabilities have started to come to Canada’s roads and the current auto insurance and vehicle safety laws need to be updated to reflect this reality.

Preparing for the future of mobility

Our study, “Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility” outlines three recommendations for preparing Canadians for the arrival of automated vehicles:

  1. Establish a single insurance policy covering driver negligence and the automated technology to facilitate liability claims.

  2. Establish a legislated data-sharing arrangement with vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners and/or insurers to help determine the cause of a collision.

  3. Update the federal vehicle safety standards with technology and cyber security standards.

While there is potential for public good, there are also risks, particularly if an automated vehicle is in a collision. We’re advocating for governments and insurance regulators to manage these risks to ensure that public safety is maintained and, when collisions occur, those who are injured get compensated fairly and quickly.