Splitting the Bill: Creating a National Car Insurance Fund to Pay for Accidents in Autonomous Vehicles

Schroll, Carrie | April 1, 2015

While self-driving cars may seem like something that can exist only in a futuristic movie, the technology is developing rapidly, and many states already allow test runs of self-driving cars on state roads. Many car companies have announced that they will make self-driving cars available as early as 2020. However, several manufacturers of the self- driving car technology predict that personal ownership of vehicles will be replaced by a car-sharing system, where companies own the self-driving cars and rent them to consumers who pay per use. With more widespread introduction of this technology comes many questions about how to assess liability for accidents involving self-driving cars, and how insurance should be structured to pay for those accidents. This Note discusses the potential parties who could be held liable: drivers, car-sharing companies, and manufacturers. This Comment suggests the elimination of liability for any accidents involving self-driving cars, and recommends the creation of a National Insurance Fund to pay for all damages resulting from those accidents.