Who Is Liable If an Autonomous Vehicle Kills or Injures Someone?
The first proposed federal law governing self-driving cars is meeting resistance from local government as a possible overreach of federal powers. The federal bill would set a national standard of regulation for self-driving cars, barring local government from enacting more prohibitions on self-driving cars.
Critics say the vague language could lead the industry to sue states over any regulations they consider overly burdensome.
“If Congress preempts state and local governments from enacting smart safety protections, the adoption of this amazing technology could be unnecessarily delayed by court challenges and state legislative action,” said Leah Treat, director of the transportation bureau in Portland, Oregon, according to Reuters.
A Moral Dilemma
Currently a driverless car is now considered legally the same as a human driver. But what does that mean? Google's software, not the human passenger, is considered as the "driver". A precedent of the federal court's decision, perhaps stemmed from Toyota unintended acceleration that resulted in a class action lawsuit where existing product liability regulations were able to sort who or what is at fault. Strict liability means no matter if meatware, software or hardware, you the person in the car is first in liability before all other considerations because car accident victims are not expected to go after a manufacturer for recompense. What if a driverless auto was requested to drive during a snowstorm because the parent needs to pick up the child at school due to being closed early because of weather conditions? Does the car refuse to even start leaving your child stranded at school? Volvo and Google have stated that in California and Nevada the only two states that allow driverless cars on the public highway will accept liability unless the commuter used the automation improperly such as overriding safety devices.
Car Bots Not Ready For Auto Pilot
Car Bots have five times more accidents than regular cars but the manufacturers say they didn't cause the crash, but thought the other vehicle would slow down for them and try to avoid a collision. Isn't that an all to human excuse?
“Officer, I swerved five times trying to avoid hitting that tree that jumped in front of me.”
- Laser can 'disable self-drive car'
A security researcher demonstrates how a homemade device can hack a self-driving car.
- Car hack uses digital-radio broadcasts to seize control
A UK-based security company tells the BBC about potentially how a digital-radio broadcast can be used to seize control of a car's computer systems.
- Humans are slamming into driverless cars and exposing a key flaw
Should they teach the cars how to commit infractions from time to time?
- Self-driving car accidents revealed in California
- Will cars driven by humans eventually be outlawed?
- Driverless cars work great in sunny California. But how about in a blizzard?
We Need A Smaller Name
The names we all are now giving to what I call Car Bots will probably sound as quaint and antiquated in the future as horseless carriages sound to us today.
Driverless car, self-driving car, automated car, autonomous vehicle and robotic vehicle sound all so clunky names and auto-auto is not that much better. Please comment below on what you think should be a short easy name for these cars of the future. Thank you for reading my hub.