For a few years now, the whole world has been enamored with the idea that, someday soon, we will have cars that drive themselves. This idea has been pushed further by Google, which has been working to create self-driving cars for some time now. They have been openly operating these vehicles in California, testing them for weaknesses and drawbacks. While the testing has gone swimmingly for the most part, recently the Google self-driving car ran into some problems.
The Google self-driving car was involved in its first injury accident after it was rear-ended by another vehicle. People in the self-driving car, as well as the driver of the other vehicle, complained of whiplash after the accident.
While it certainly seems as though this accident was the fault of the other vehicle and not the self-driving car, this still raising an interesting question about automated motor vehicles: where is the line drawn for liability? How will insurance companies handle these situations in the future, when many more self-driving cars will be out on the road?
It is certainly an interesting question, though one that doesn’t have the clearest answer right now. Self-driving cars will inevitably have some glitches or unforeseen problems, and those things could lead to an accident that is not the fault of a human driver. So who would be at fault then? Do lawmakers needs to pass new legislation to cover this gray area?
When self-driving cars do make it out on the road in force, there will be some convoluted and frustrating moments as we all try to make sense of it all.
Source: WCSC, “Google self-driving car involved in first injury accident,” Associated Press, Justin Pritchard