Autonomous Vehicles and Liability

car accident liability As companies like Google, Ford, Tesla and Toyota continue testing and working out the kinks in their autonomous prototype vehicles, more and more questions are arising about the liability issues surrounding driverless vehicles. Who will be charged in a fatal accident involving a driverless vehicle? How will car insurance change? Could the person inside of an autonomous vehicle have prevented the accident?

With questions swirling around the heads of consumers everywhere, The Washington Post has put together an article highlighting the answers they have been able to uncover, as well as the many questions that are left unanswered.

Carmakers May Take the Blame

When it comes to autonomous vehicles that are found at fault for an accident, many experts are leaning towards the idea of auto manufacturers assuming more responsibility. One possible scenario is that the victim of a car accident would sue the manufacturer of the driverless car that hit them for building a vehicle that did not operate the way it was intended to.

Volvo, Google and Mercedes-Benz have all stated that they will accept liability in accidents involving their self-driving cars, showing just how much these companies trust the technology they are building.

More Scrutiny on Drivers

Another possibility, since different manufacturers are planning on introducing different degrees of automation, is that the human in the driver’s seat of the autonomous vehicle will face further scrutiny in a car crash. It is likely that the question, “Did you have the ability to stop the accident?” will come into play if the vehicle allows for humans to take control.

To address this problem, some states have proposed that all self-driving cars will be required to have a licensed driver behind the wheel, but as of right now there is no clear answer to most of the questions being proposed.

Here at PermaPlate, we are extremely interested in how these liability issues will play out as car manufacturers draw closer to releasing their first fully autonomous vehicles. Regardless of if you – or your car – is in charge of the wheel, you will still want your car looking its best, which is why PermaPlate is proud to provide automotive protection products for all your needs.

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