At no other time, the self-driving vehicles coming out from Apple Computers, Uber, Tesla, Google and more, is one of the biggest topics of our generation.
Future roads are likely to be highways straight out of science fiction. Airborne cars may not be something we’ll see in the next few decades, but self-driving cars are already here. Google and others are testing these cars on roads throughout the country, but the possibility of self-driving cars raises many questions about liability.
Even in a test environment, the cars have already been involved in numerous accidents. Recently, a Google test car was rear-ended by another driver while on a California road. Three Google employees were in the car; one person was sitting behind the wheel but was not driving the car. California currently requires someone to be behind the wheel of such cars should an emergency occur and a person needs to operate the vehicle.
According to reports, all three individuals in the Google car were treated at the hospital for injuries; the driver of the second car was also treated. All individuals in the accident reported head and neck pain.
In this case, the liability for the accident might seem obvious. The Google test car was rear-ended, and there were several people in the car to provide a report of what happened. In the future, self-driving cars could make it possible for individuals to nap behind the wheel. They could also read, conduct business, or put on makeup while the vehicle drove happily along. What happens when an accident occurs while no one is looking? What happens when an accident occurs between two self-driven cars?
Today, accident liability can be a difficult thing for individuals seeking compensation to prove. In a world of self-driven cars, that burden of proof might become even more difficult. Whether it’s today or tomorrow, however, if you are involved in an accident, experienced advice can make a difference in your case.
Source: Hindustan Times, “Google self-driving car involved in accident, 4 injured,” July 17, 2015