• Recent Accidents Raise Questions About Self-Driving Cars
  • August 8, 2016
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • Recent news of accidents involving cars in automated driving mode have provoked numerous questions and speculation concerning the viability of automated driving. There, however, has been limited commentary focused on how these accidents, though unusual with respect to the technology involved, are in fact relatively ordinary. In the case of the recent Tesla Model X crash, it appears as though the other vehicle involved in the accident, a tractor trailer, made an illegal left turn to cross two highway lanes which weren’t clear of oncoming traffic. The truck driver’s potential culpability in causing the accident adds an additional wrinkle in an already complicated liability analysis. How contributory negligence will be assessed with respect to autonomous vehicles is an important question for both legal and insurance industries and must be answered sooner rather than later.