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A Look at the Issue of Liability in Autonomous Cars

Autonomous Car Accidents

The world of the car has been moving forward at a fast pace. Think of a time when only fuel-run cars used to rule the road . But the roads are not the same any more.  These days, you can find different types of vehicles on the road. And it includes autonomous cars.

What are Autonomous Cars?

It might sound quite strange, but autonomous cars are those vehicles, which run on their own. There is no provision for a driver to navigate the car. A number of autonomous vehicles have been introduced on the roads recently. Among them, the most famous is surely the Google Autonomous Car.

So, how do these cars run safely on the roads?

Autonomous cars are programmed in such a way that they can get learn the road conditions and the environment around them. This helps to ensure that the cars are not involved in any kind of accident.

But Accidents Do Happen

Despite the fact that all kinds of safety measures have been undertaken to avoid accidents of autonomous cars, they do happen.

So, when an autonomous car crashes, there is no driver involved. So, there’s no human error that’s contributing to the accident which leads to a degree of confusion.

Who should you blame when an autonomous car is involved in an accident?

This surely is one of the trickiest questions facing the global automobile industry. When people are involved in an accident there is an account of what happened and how the vehicle could or couldn’t be controlled by the person driving the vehicle.

What Does the Manufacturer Say?

When it comes to autonomous cars, those that have hit the road have been manufactured by Google. Google are not likely to blame their technology and are more likely to defend the technology. Their argument will be that these vehicles are safer than driven vehicles.

According to Google, “Human drivers are the problem.” So, Google is out to defend its autonomous cars as much as it can. So, it is saying that all accidents involving Google Autonomous Cars were caused by human errors, either of the victims or the drivers of the other vehicles involved. So, this leaves a limited opportunity for the victim to blame the autonomous cars.

Sudden Transfer of Control

Being a car enthusiast, you can opt for a driver-less car and personalize it with a private number plate. But when you are driving a driver-less car, you are likely to have a mindset of enjoying the ride without having the responsibility of driving.  But if the weather is not good and there’s a heavy downpour, the visibility of the driver-less car and its technology, is likely to be impaired, at which point you will find that control of the vehicle is transferred to you.

So, what will happen at that moment?

It’s quite obvious that you will have to take immediate charge as the driver. This might take you by surprise and may lead to accidents as a result of your lack of preparedness.

Issue of Liability Can Cause Problems

One of the major problems that is associated with autonomous cars by Google is this issue of liability. This issue stems from the fact that it is difficult to determine who will be legally and financially responsible when the driver-less vehicles are involved in an accident. According to experts, if the issue of liability is not solved very soon, it will result in decreasing popularity of driver-less cars in the future. It is highly unlikely that we will see large numbers of these cars on the roads in the immediate near future.

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