Self Driving Cars
This is not science fiction, this is today's reality.
Companies like Google, Apple, Intel, Volvo, Ford, and Tesla and possibly more are developing their own versions of the self-driving car. Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics department in Pittsburgh Pa., is also at the cutting edge of this technology.
Uber has already rolled out their driver-less car in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. You can see their You Tube video here.
Distracted driving has become one of the fastest causes for vehicle accidents in recent years. Driving under the influence is also a big reason for many accidents. Self-driving vehicles could greatly reduce both of these serious types of accidents.
With the advent of new technology comes a myriad of new challenges. In the case of the self-driving car ,the liabilities would have to be defined. But many things will also stay the same such as; it is quite possible that each case would be unique and a good legal team would have to sift through the facts to drill down to the root cause. Not much different than it is today. The concern is who is the liable party.
With the self-driving car, if for some reason that vehicle causes an accident and inflicts personal injury or property damage, it seems that the manufacturer would have to be liable since it was the cars technology that was driving and in control of the vehicle. Although the driver can take control, there could be the argument that the driver failed to take back control when needed or in some way interfered with the technology. Proving who is actually at fault could be a challenge. It seems the manufacturer would bear the liability of the technology. Although the driver may be responsible for part or all of the actual driving of the vehicle.
With the possibility of reduction of individual lawsuits comes the possibility of more class action lawsuits. If a self-driving vehicle causes a serious accident due to a malfunction in technology, the manufacturer of the failed technology would be liable in a product liability case and possibly a class action lawsuit.
Insurance premiums for owning a self-driving car may be a little different from what your insurance looks like now with your current traditional non self-driving vehicle. You may save a few dollars. Self-driving cars are in theory safer and therefore should reduce the number of traffic accidents that are caused by distracted driving, poor judgment, and many other causes.
The whole idea of the technology for a self-driving vehicle is to make driving safer. If indeed this technology reduces traffic accidents you the consumer should see lower insurance premiums in theory.
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The Eshelman Legal Group
The attorneys at the Eshelman Legal Group understand that no matter how cautious you are, others may not be so careful, and accidents happen. So we hope you don’t need to, but if you are in a situation where you need the advice of a professional injury lawyer, the Eshelman Legal Group is here to help you. For over 40 years we have been assisting accident victims, and we are here to assist you too... because “We’ll make things right.” .
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