The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has responded to yesterday’s news of a Tesla Model 3 using the company’s Smart Summon self-driving navigation feature.
Bystanders witnessed a Tesla owner using the Smart Summon feature at Richmond Centre in Richmond, B.C., at the mall’s busy eastern parking lot. The Tesla was seen driving in the oncoming lane, heading towards the owner situated in the outdoor covered parkade.
Tesla’s stance on Smart Summon is for owners to use the feature in safe situations only, with the feature only able to work when the owner is within line of sight. Unfortunately, it was a poor decision by this Tesla owner to use Smart Summon at Richmond Centre.
Now, an ICBC spokesperson has responded to the situation in Richmond, telling iPhone in Canada in a statement, “In the recent incident in Richmond, thankfully there was no accident. Had an accident occurred, the vehicle owner’s insurance may not have provided coverage.”
ICBC went on to say, “We’re actively monitoring the development of autonomous vehicle technology here in B.C. and in other jurisdictions. This is an emerging field that raises questions in regards to both safety and policy.”
The spokesperson added as of now, “B.C. laws do not permit driverless vehicles on our roads.”
However, parking lots such as the one at Richmond Centre are on private property, so technically Smart Summon is allowed.
Regarding Tesla and Smart Summon, ICBC said “A vehicle being driven autonomously in a shopping mall parking lot, for example, is not allowed. The driver is responsible for the operation of the vehicle including when driver assistance is activated.”
So essentially, if your Tesla is being controlled with Smart Summon in B.C. and gets into an accident, you may not get coverage.
Tesla released Smart Summon in Canada last month with the debut of the company’s latest V10 software update.