Autonomous Vehicle Risk Model
Autonomous (also called self-driving, driverless, or robotic) vehicles have long been predicted in science fiction and discussed in popular science media. Recently, major corporations have announced plans to begin selling such vehicles in a few years, and some jurisdictions have passed legislation to allow such vehicles to operate legally on public roads.
Levels of Autonomous Vehicles (NHTSA 2013):
Level 1 – Function-specific Automation: Automation of specific control functions, such as cruise control, lane guidance and automated parallel parking. Drivers are fully engaged and responsible for overall vehicle control (hands on the steering wheel and foot on the pedal at all times).
Level 2 – Combined Function Automation: Automation of multiple and integrated control functions, such as adaptive cruise control with lane centering. Drivers are responsible for monitoring the roadway and are expected to be available for control at all times, but under certain conditions can disengaged from vehicle operation (hands off the steering wheel and foot off pedal simultaneously).
Level 3 – Limited Self-Driving Automation: Drivers can cede all safety-critical functions under certain conditions and rely on the vehicle to monitor for changes in those conditions that will require transition back to driver control. Drivers are not expected to constantly monitor the roadway.
Level 4 – Full Self-Driving Automation: Vehicles can perform all driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip, and so may operate with occupants who cannot drive and without human occupants.
We are currently at Level 1 and as the Autonomous Vehicles industry moves from Level 2 to Level 4 we are faced with different types of Security Issues and managing and quantifying them will be of paramount importance to the passengers, manufacturers, regulators and insurance carriers.