The automobile industry is highly innovative. This innovation has led to the creation of self-driving vehicles. However, this technology has a long way to go before it becomes widely used on roads across the United States. Several car companies, including Tesla, Chevrolet, and Uber, are in the process of researching and rolling out self-driving technology. This poses an interesting legal question: who is responsible for an accident involving a self-driving car?
Statistics Involving Autonomous Car Accidents
Implementing new technology is often a bumpy road, and autonomous cars are no different. Several accidents involving these types of vehicles have been recorded, including some that have caused serious injuries or death. For example, a 2017 accident in Arizona killed one pedestrian. The self-driving vehicle, traveling 38 miles per hour, struck a pedestrian who appeared with little notice.
Another example involves a 2018 accident where a Tesla Model S crashed into the back of a fire truck while traveling 65 miles per hour. There were no injuries, and there was barely any damage to the fire truck. However, the crash caused serious property damage to Tesla.
Despite the list of self-driving car accidents, once perfected, the technology could potentially save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 94% of crashes are directly attributed to driver error. Having self-driving cars may be a solution to this problem.