Waymo, self-driving cars, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Phoenix, Fennemore, traffic laws

Self-driving cars put the HB2813 to the test

In this file photo, a Waymo driverless car is shown during a Google event in San Francisco. The influx of Waymo self-driving cars arrived on Phoenix roads recently with the Waymo One Trusted Tester, leading to a major test for House Bill 2813.

The influx of Waymo self-driving cars on Phoenix roads has recently hit through its Waymo One Trusted Tester program, creating an important test for House Bill 2813. Signed into law last year, HB2813 regulates fully self-driving cars in Arizona, including That behavior after the accident by the self-driving car system.

Waymo’s self-driving car program has recently become completely driverless and will allow Phoenix residents to sign up to be “trusted testers” to ride in all-electric Waymo Jaguar I-Pace cars on their own for a fee.

With more self-driving cars on our roads, we’re in new territory when it comes to identifying fault during accidents and properly protecting ourselves.

What kind of information do self-driving vehicles have to provide to help identify the fault?

Waymo, driverless vehicles, self-driving, accidents, Arizona, insurance

Mark Lamber

HB2813 defines a self-driving vehicle as a driver for the purposes of complying with Arizona traffic laws. The automatic driving system must satisfy all the physical actions required by the human driver. The self-driving car must stop at the scene of the accident until the duty to provide information and assistance in the event of an accident resulting in injury, death or property damage is fulfilled. The self-driving car must contact law enforcement to report the accident and provide the owner’s name, address and registration number to the injured person or occupants of the vehicle involved in the accident.

In the event of an accident involving an autonomous vehicle on a public road or involving a hospitalized injury, death, vehicle towing or deployment of a pedestrian or airbag, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires the vehicle manufacturer to do so. Submit an accident report within 24 hours.

What type of insurance can passengers of self-driving cars and occupants of other vehicles carry in an accident with a self-driving car to protect themselves?

In Arizona, car insurance follows. Arizona traffic laws treat the self-driving vehicle system as a “driver” that requires that driver to register the vehicle and carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident liability insurance. It is wise to carry passengers in self-driving cars and occupants of other vehicles who may be involved in an accident and have the appropriate cash limit to cover uninsured and uninsured drivers. If the self-driving vehicle is not at fault and the other driver is uninsured, the other driver/passengers in both vehicles can seek out uninsured driver coverage for compensation. If the self-driving car is at fault and carries only minimal levels of liability insurance, the victim may not be fully compensated unless it carries enough coverage for insured drivers to supplement other available coverage. The self-driving car maker would be in trouble for its own negligence, but it would probably be easier to go directly against auto insurance, including coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers, rather than directly against the manufacturer. Since this is quite new, we should expect some twists and turns.

Who is being sued?

This will vary from case to case, but it is fair to assume that victims will look to the self-driving car owner, the manufacturer, the developer of the self-driving program and the technology defendants who may be responsible.

Mark Lamber Trial attorney and public safety advocate, and principal at Fennemore Craig. Lamber heads the personal injury practice group.


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