Self-driving vehicles have become a hot topic in the news recently. With companies like Google, Uber, and Tesla putting self-driving technology at the forefront of their businesses, more people than ever are wondering what this means for them.
Do you know if your car is self-driving?
Would you know if it suddenly started driving itself?
Do you know who’s responsible for an accident involving a self-driving vehicle?
The answers to these questions may surprise you. If you’re ready to learn more about how these innovations will affect you as a driver and car owner, keep reading. This article covers everything from the ins and outs of liability with self-driving cars to which company is liable if your autonomous vehicle gets into an accident.
What Is a Self-Driving Car?
A self-driving car is an autonomous vehicle that can drive itself without any human intervention at all. Most of these vehicles use various sensors, cameras, and other technologies to navigate their surroundings and move between destinations. A few self-driving cars are fully autonomous, meaning they don’t have any steering wheels or other manual controls.
Other self-driving cars have some autonomous features like lane-keeping assistance or adaptive cruise control, but still require a person to sit behind the wheel and monitor the road. That’s why it’s important to know where your car falls on the self-driving spectrum. If your vehicle is fully autonomous, you won’t be able to take control of it in the event of an emergency. If your car still has manual controls, though, you’ll be able to steer it if you need to.
Who’s Responsible for a Self-Driving Car Accident?
This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it?
When does a self-driving car get into an accident, who’s at fault?
The car manufacturer?
The tech company behind the software?
Who’s liable for a self-driving car accident may seem straightforward, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. The first thing you need to know is that if your car is fully autonomous and you’re injured in an accident, you may not have any recourse. You can’t sue the driver of a fully autonomous vehicle because there is no driver.
Google’s Self-Driving Car Liability
As mentioned above, if your car is fully autonomous, you probably can’t sue the driver. You also can’t sue the car’s manufacturer because they didn’t design the software that’s controlling the car. If you were injured in an accident caused by a fully self-driving Google car, you’d have to file a claim with the company’s insurance company.
Google’s self-driving car insurance policy is designed to protect people who are injured by one of its autonomous vehicles. If you are hit by a Google car, the company will cover medical bills and other expenses incurred by the accident.
Uber’s Self-Driving Car Liability
As we’ve discussed, you can’t sue the car manufacturer or the person behind the wheel when your car is fully autonomous. In these cases, the car insurance policy would come into effect. If you are injured by an autonomous Uber car, the company’s insurance would take care of your medical bills.
That’s good news for riders and pedestrians who are hit by one of Uber’s autonomous cars. However, it’s important to note that Uber’s insurance policy only covers its self-driving cars. If you get hit by a regular Uber car, the driver’s insurance policy would come into effect. You can file a claim against their policy and they would be responsible for covering your medical bills.
Tesla’s Self-Driving Car Liability
As we’ve explored, there are three main types of self-driving cars: fully autonomous, semi-autonomous, and non-autonomous. Fully autonomous self-driving cars have no manual controls, so a driver can’t take control of the vehicle in the event of an emergency.
In the event of a Tesla accident, the car’s insurance policy would come into effect. Tesla’s insurance would cover medical expenses for the driver and pedestrians hit by a Tesla car. However, Tesla doesn’t sell fully autonomous cars. Unfortunately, this means that if you’re in a Tesla when it gets into an accident, you may not be able to file a claim against the company.
Self-driving cars are the future of driving. As these technologies advance, autonomous vehicles will only become safer and more efficient. That being said, technology is not perfect and self-driving cars are still in the early stages of development. That means that autonomous vehicles are likely to experience more accidents and car wreck lawsuits than regular cars.
That also means that if you’re involved in an accident in a fully or semi-autonomous vehicle, you may have to fight tooth and nail to get compensation for your injuries. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about self-driving cars and what they mean for you as a driver. If you’re interested in keeping up with the latest news on autonomous vehicles, be sure to check out our blog.