Insuring an Evolving Mobility Ecosystem: From Mustang Sally to Waymo One/Asaf Lubin


Wed, 05/05/2021 - 15:00 to 16:30

Insuring an Evolving Mobility Ecosystem: From Mustang Sally to Waymo One:

This work-in-progress examines the regulation of automobile insurance in the age of autonomous
vehicles (AV). The presentation will begin by offering a brief overview of the current state of
AV technology and a comparative account of its regulation in the United States and around the
world. Prof. Lubin will then proceed to make the claim that the academic and professional
discourse around AV regulation has been taken hostage by a premature discussion on possible
tectonic shifts in the liability structures for automobile accidents. Prof. Lubin will argue that
debating AV liability at this stage is equivalent to being on the Titanic and arguing about the
White Star Line’s future and distant liability as you’re staring at the iceberg.

Instead of focusing on changes to liability schemes, Prof. Lubin will argue why our
existing and historical personal automobile insurance frameworks are not going away anytime
soon. To debunk the myth that insurance regulation is facing imminent structural
changes—driven by the reduction of risk of accidents and the increase in products liability on
manufacturers—Prof. Lubin will focus on four key arguments. First, he will show why the
technology is not sufficiently advanced to mandate such changes. Second, he will highlight why
old risks will still exist even once sufficiently advanced technology emerges and is deployed.
Third, he will show how new risks will force a continued reliance on personal automobile
insurance even in the age of AVs. Finally, he will examine challenges in trust building and the
evolution of social and cultural norms that will further delay and derail any AV insurance

The presentation will nonetheless end with four key AV insurance concerns that do merit
our collective attention at this time. These four thematic areas are currently under-discussed by
both scholars and regulators. They encompass: (1) the regulation of data protection, privacy, and
cybersecurity standards for emerging AV technologies; (2) the regulation of insurance for AV
testing; (3) the regulation automobile insurance provided by AV developers themselves; and (4)
the regulation of driver’s education in the wake of the AV revolution.
Participants in the presentation will likely find it useful to review Prof. Lubin’s
forthcoming Article “Insuring Evolving Technology” which will be published in issue 28(1) of
the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal. The paper draws key concepts from the law-and-
technology literature to explore the effectiveness and utility of different forms of insurance
regulation in mitigating risks from emerging, evolving, and disruptive technologies. The paper
further identifies different phases in technology’s life cycle discussing the challenges that each of
these phases introduces on the insurance market. Prof. Lubin will build on the normative
framework discussed within the paper in his analysis of different types of insurance regulation in
the AV context.

Link to Zoom session: