Blog: Automotive Security

Pathway to driverless cars. UK law and liability.

Alan Monie 27 Feb 2017

The UK government has produced the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill which draws up the laws for autonomous cars in the UK.

Section 3.13 of the following PDF states that if an Autonomous Vehicle (AV) crashes and any human occupant didn’t update the cars software to the latest version, the insurance company would be able to exclude the liability to the injured motorist. Any injured third-party would always be compensated.

There will be cases where AV’s crash and the software wasn’t at the latest version. Does everyone have access to high-bandwidth Internet that is required for a large software update? Having a nice holiday in the highlands… don’t stray too far away from that 4G cell tower – the update won’t download over GPRS!

Some poor motorist is going to get hurt in their car one day through no fault of their own, and because they didn’t update the cars software (which only patched a minor bug in the air conditioning system) the insurance company may now have a loophole to avoid paying out.