Whether you like it or not, self-driving cars are in our future.
Some experts say that there will be up to 10 million self-driving cars on the roads by 2020. Several companies are testing self-driving car technology. The rideshare company Lyft is aiming to have the majority of their ride network to be self-driving by 2021. Tesla is aiming to have its first driverless fleet available by 2018. A total of 19 car companies are in the race to build self-driving cars – and that number is likely to grow.
Many questions arise in the discussion about autonomous vehicle technology (AVT). One of those questions is that of accident liability: Who is responsible when a self-driving vehicle gets into an accident?
So far, there is no definitive answer to that question. The Volvo CEO recently said that the company will assume full responsibility for accidents that occur while the vehicle is in autonomous mode. Tesla, however, has said that it will only assume responsibility for accidents related to a design defect.
Statistics say that 90 percent of automobile accidents are caused by human error. Drunk drivers, distracted drivers, and other negligent drivers are a threat to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Could driverless cars help reduce accidents caused by human error?
Another question that arises is that of the insurance industry’s role when there are more automated vehicles on the road, and conceivably, fewer traffic accidents. Will drivers need as much insurance coverage in the future?
As driverless technology continues to develop – and as we get closer to the day when we share our roads with driverless cars – many of these questions will be answered.
What do you think about self-driving cars? Are you excited about this advance in technology – or do you think the risks outweigh the benefits? Please add your thoughts in the comments below.
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