Accident fault determination for autonomous vehicles

  • US 10,185,998 B1
  • Filed: 05/15/2015
  • Issued: 01/22/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/20/2014
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A computer-implemented method for determining fault relating to a collision or other loss, comprising:

  • receiving, at one or more processors, an indication of an accident involving a vehicle having one or more autonomous operation features for controlling the vehicle;

    receiving, at the one or more processors, operating data regarding operation of the vehicle during a time period including a time of the accident, wherein the operating data includes information from one or more sensors disposed within the vehicle and information regarding the operation of the one or more autonomous operation features, and wherein the information from the one or more sensors includes sensor data generated by the one or more sensors regarding positions of objects in proximity to the vehicle within a vehicle operating environment and wherein the information regarding the operation of the one or more autonomous operation features includes a log of control signals generated by the one or more autonomous operation features to control the vehicle;

    receiving, at the one or more processors, information regarding use levels of the one or more autonomous operation features during the time period including the time of the accident, wherein the use levels indicate a configuration of at least one of the one or more autonomous operation features enabled at the time of the accident;

    automatically determining, by the one or more processors and without human involvement, an allocation of fault for the accident between the one or more autonomous operation features and a vehicle operator using the received operating data and the use levels of the one or more autonomous operation features by (i) determining that the use levels indicate the one or more autonomous operation features were configured to and were operating to control an aspect of vehicle operation associated with the accident at the time of the accident and (ii) determining, by comparing intended control actions of the one or more autonomous operation features indicated in the log of the control signals against observed operation of the vehicle indicated by the information from the one or more sensors, relative fault between the one or more autonomous operation features and other control components configured to implement control actions for the vehicle based upon the control signals; and

    automatically determining, by the one or more processors, one or more coverage levels associated with a vehicle insurance policy based at least in part upon the determined allocation of fault between the one or more autonomous operation features and the vehicle operator.

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