Google’s self-driving cars are supposed to be safer on the road. Now, some are questioning the benefits of self-driving vehicles after one of Google’s autonomous cars was in an accident in California earlier this month.
The self-driving vehicle hit a municipal bus after it tried to drive around sandbags that were in their lane, according to a report filed with regulators in California. The car and city bus have minor damage and no one was injured in the accident. The report stated that the self-driving vehicle was traveling less than 2 miles per hour, while the bus was traveling at 15 miles per hour.
Google issued a statement saying they were responsible for the crash, but also noted that the test driver thought the bus would slow down or stop to let the vehicle merge back into traffic. Instead, the bus did not slow down and the self-driving car hit the side of the bus, damaging both the car and the bus.
Who is held liable for these accidents?
Car accidents involving autonomous vehicles have led to liability issues that are difficult to address. Who would be held liable in the event of a serious or fatal accident involving a self-driving car and another vehicle?
This is a difficult question to answer. It is unknown at this time who all could be held liable in an accident. The manufacturer of the vehicle, Google in this case, could be named as a defendant. However, the owner of the vehicle could also be held liable for a crash.
Some scholars say that this will become a product liability matter instead of a personal injury claim after a serious accident since a person is not actually driving the vehicle. Instead, passengers are relying on the autonomous vehicle to be operated safely by Google’s, or any other companies, algorisms, and safety measures.
This issue may complicate the process of filing a claim after an accident. In reality, the chance of you being in an accident with a self-driving car is unlikely, at least for now. However, the future of driving continues to change. Experienced personal injury attorneys can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of filing a claim after a car accident.