Driverless cars are in the future and creeping into the view of today. Experts think that driverless cars will eliminate car accidents, but concern continues to rise as driverless cars enter the road.
There have already been crashes with driverless cars and some of those crashes have resulted in deaths. One question arises from these accidents.
Who is at fault?
With driverless cars and the laws following them both in their infancy, who is at fault for an accident when one driver wasn’t driving? The answer isn’t as simple as we see it now. In a car accident now, there are negligent drivers that are held responsible. With a driverless car, will the computer programmer be responsible? Will the company who made the car be responsible?
Holding a computer responsible
If a person isn’t driving, many look to the computer within the driverless car. This would hold the manufacturers responsible if a driverless car were to cause injury or death. If the law were to hold the manufacturers responsible, an auto accident quickly turns into a product liability case. A product liability case is far more difficult to prove than an auto accident.
Holding both the driver and the computer responsible
Cars that are self-driving with a driverless option are a little different. If auto-pilot was engaged, the driver has the option to take the wheel in case of an emergency. During an accident, if the auto-pilot was engaged, both the driver and the manufacturers could be at fault.
With the uncertainty of driverless cars, the laws are unstable and not fully formed. A car accident can turn into a major lawsuit, especially if a fatality is in the picture. As of right now, drivers are required to be in the car and laws are a bit more flexible. As we go into the future, the laws will get more complicated. The question of who is at fault will remain to change with time.