Earlier this week we saw a Richmond BC Tesla owner use Smart Summon on his Model 3 at the busy CF Richmond Centre parking lot. Witnesses nearby filmed the incident, eventually reaching traditional media, who called Smart Summon “bizzare, shocking, and dangerous”.
Now the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the province’s sole insurance provider, has responded to the incident saying it may be illegal to use Smart Summon in BC. In a statement from ICBC, they said that even though there are no current regulations with any specific rules regarding the operation or registration of vehicles capable of autonomous driving, your insurance may not cover you if you get into an accident using Smart Summon.
“The driver is responsible for the operation of the vehicle, including when driver assistance is activated. 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.”
The Ministry of Transportation also responded, saying that autonomous vehicles are not allowed on BC roads (the private parking lot at CF Richmond Centre is not a public road), and that driverless vehicles are also illegal for import.
It is clear there still needs to be some work done when it comes to getting ICBC, the Ministry of Transportation, and our laws up to date with the current technologies available to Tesla owners. Smart Summon became available to Canadian Tesla owners last month, soon after the release of the V10 software update.