Automated driving assist and autonomous driving technologies can help truck drivers be safer, more efficient, more productive and less fatigued. While automated driving technology can assist drivers and make their time in the cab more effective, states are still trying to figure out how best to deal with automated driving technology. In 2018, Nebraska passed new statutory rules with respect to the use of autonomous motor vehicles. Less than one year later, the Unicameral is considering multiple bills which would increase minimum insurance requirements for automated motor vehicles operating in the state and establish liability between drivers and manufacturers of automated systems.
Under the pending Legislative Bills and amendments, manufacturers of an automated driving system would now need to provide evidence to the Department of Motor Vehicles the manufacturer has the ability to respond to damages for liability in the minimum amount of five million dollars as well as minimum insurance coverage of one million dollars per vehicle per occurrence,
Pursuant to the pending bills before the Legislature, Nebraska is also attempting to pre-determine liability in the event an accident occurs with an automated motor vehicle. If Legislative Bill 142 (Amendment 49) passes, whenever a human driver is in a motor vehicle during its use, the human driver shall be deemed to be in control of the vehicle's operations, unless the automated driving system is engaged. In the event the automated driving system is engaged at the time of a crash or collision, the automated driving system manufacturer shall be deemed to have been operating the vehicle unless the system has been modified by a third party. What is not addressed by the current legislation is pre-determined liability in the event a driver takes control of the automated moments before impact.
The attorneys at Goosmann Law Firm have experience in lobbying the Unicameral for changes to proposed and existing laws. Further, given our history of representing trucking companies as well as having attorneys licensed throughout the Midwest, our firm is uniquely positioned to research and analyze how other states are addressing the introduction of automated driving systems so your fleet can be protected in every state it operates in.