Our future is automated self-driving cars, we’re told. Much of the technology is far beyond infancy, honed near perfection and already used in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) like lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking. In Ontario and some American states, they can even be driven among us. While frontrunners like Tesla duke it out with the not-far-behind legacy manufacturers (and Mercedes just one-upped the upstart in Germany), one thing is clearly emerging: having the vehicles is only one piece of the puzzle.
Just ask the auto insurance industry.
“Canada is not ready to insure even partially automated vehicles (AVs), but the move towards fully-automated vehicles could be here by as early as 2026,” warns this article from Canadian Underwriter. With Canada’s patchwork of provincial insurance legislation, it promises a tangled path forward. “Current legislation does not adequately consider accidents involving Level 3 automation, and will likely fail to address considerations around even higher levels of autonomy.”
You’re probably familiar by now with the designations of autonomous vehicles: Level 0, no autonomous features; Level 5, fully automated and requiring no drivers. In practical applications, we are currently mucking about between levels 2 and 3, both of which still require a driver to be ready and able to take control of the car.
Level 3 vehicles are not currently legal on