Think driverless cars can’t get into accidents? Think again. Last
month, a self-driving car being tested by Google
collided with a California public bus on Valentine’s Day, according to an accident report filed with the
California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Google reported that the car was attempting to drive around some sandbags
on a city street when it struck the right front side of the bus. The car
has been traveling at 2 mph, while the bus was going 15 mph. The car’s
safety driver reported that he thought the bus would yield. This is the
first of about a dozen reported accidents involving self-driving test
cars that was caused by Google car.
The tech firm had been testing two dozen Lexus SUVs outfitted with cameras
and sensors near their headquarters in Silicon Valley. There were no injuries,
and the report was posted to the DMV website. The report did not include
any information on fault.
Self-driving cars raise a number of important legal as well as moral questions
about what lies ahead for drivers in the future. If a person is injured
in a collision involving an autonomous vehicle, who can be held liable?
Do self-driving cars shield their “drivers” from all liability,
or can they still be held accountable if someone is hurt or killed? Is
the software to blame for failing, or is the driver to blame for failing
Proving that self-driving cars can share the roads safely with human drivers
has been a significant challenge for companies testing the technology.
For now, at least, it seems that we should still keep a healthy skepticism
when it comes to thinking that driverless cars will solve all of our transportation
problems. And even after these bugs are all worked out, we’ll still
be left to grapple with bigger questions of liability when it comes to
accidents in the future.
The Washington, DC car accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata,
Siegel, P.C. have handled thousands of car accident cases over decades
of practice. Our lawyers are licensed in Maryland, DC and Virginia. If
you are involved in a car accident in Maryland, DC or Virginia, and are
seeking representation for a personal injury that you suffered, please
contact the firm today.