Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Autonomous Systems

What are the risks of driverless vehicles?

Published: 6 December 2016

The World Economic Forum (WEF) held their workshop: ‘Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy’ on 8 September, at Lloyds of London and at the event, Autonomous Systems member, Dr Stephen Prior, chaired the breakout session on drones, which considered the implications of their use for insurance. A subsequent article by Victoria Shirazi, WEF Project Lead for Mitigating Risks in Innovation, on the proceedings of that session: What It Will Take For Driverless Cars To Go Mainstream? has now been published in Fortune magazine.

As intelligent machines continue to evolve, the question of liability from the accidents they might cause comes into play. Who is liable for an injury caused by an autonomous or artificially intelligent “robot”? Is the owner of the artificially intelligent device still liable if they can no longer control the actions of the device? Currently, no regulation exists to deliver clear and harmonious (think globally recognized) mechanism of fault for fully automated AI devices. Insurers must therefore work together with technology manufacturers and policy-makers to clearly resolve these gaps in liability ownership. Without clear liability ownership, insurers will be unable to insure individuals, manufacturers or technology designers against these losses.

Victoria Shirazi - Project lead, World Economic Forum
Privacy Settings