• Determining Fault in Self-Driving Car Crashes
  • March 15, 2018
  • Every year, self-driving cars move closer to becoming a regular fixture on American roads. Most major auto manufacturers are working to obtain their own autonomous vehicles. Hired cars companies such as Lyft and Uber are close to replacing human drivers with technology. However, as self-driving cars begin their integration with human drivers and pedestrians, tricky legal questions arise. When an autonomous vehicle is involved in an accident with another car, motorcyclist, or pedestrian, it is difficult to determine who is at fault.

    Investigating Crashes Involving Self-Driving Cars
    Automakers face a large hurdle in terms of convincing the public that autonomous cars can be trusted. People are naturally going to be hesitant about technology they are not familiar with and do not truly understand. Car companies are likely going to fight aggressively in accidents where human drivers are responsible and settle quickly when their vehicle is at fault.

    Proving fault is the challenging part. Automakers depend on on-board data recording technology to help determine fault in a crash. Data about the vehicle’s speed, lane changes, and braking will be important when assessing if the vehicle or human error caused an accident. International tech giant, Intel, partnered with Mobileye, an Israeli company that manufactures sensors for autonomous cars, to come up with a mathematical formula automakers and insurers can use to gauge fault in the event of a crash between a human-driven car and an autonomous car.

    Mobileye designed a system to program self-driving cars to adhere to pre-programmed parameters including safe speeds and following distances to prevent them from being at fault in the event of an accident. The company says their technology prevents the vehicle from sending a command to the steering and brake systems that would put it at risk for a crash. So far, companies’ major customers, including Audi and BMW, have responded favorably to the safety sensor.

    Insurance and Self-Driving Cars
    Last year, Michigan became the first state with self-driving auto insurance legislation on the books. The law holds manufacturers responsible for self-driving cars when their operating system causes a collision. To help them better assess fault for crashes, insurance companies want access to the type of data Intel and Mobileye sensors collect from self-driving cars, but manufacturers are not ready to hand over proprietary secrets. As it stands now, drivers, police officers, auto insurers, and car accident lawyers are left to use existing laws to navigate new, uncharted territory.

    Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Advocate for Injured Victims of Car Collisions
    With autonomous cars already on the roads in cities across the country, the issue of determining fault for crashes involving driverless cars will soon be relevant for every driver. Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC help drivers, passengers, and pedestrians injured in all types of car accidents fight for justice and collect the compensation they deserve for medical bills, income loss, and pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 215-569-8488 or contact us online. With locations throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we serve residents from the surrounding areas.