In a collision caused by a self-driving car, is the passenger, car owner, manufacturer liable? Or are all three legally responsible. The calculus of duty is uncertain, and this issue lies at the heart of policy, legislative, and regulatory discussions of autonomous vehicles. Chris Dolan explored these issues in an article published in the February 2016 issue of Trial magazine.
As autonomous vehicles become a reality, they have great potential to reduce crashes and protect consumers from injuries on the road. But there are many unanswered questions about liability and regulation. The automakers and tech companies, however, are trying to bring autonomous vehicles to market quickly and settle all legal and regulatory issues in their favor.
There is no need to rush and bring driverless cars to the market quickly when major issues involving their safety, cybersecurity, and liability remain unresolved. There needs to be assurance to the public through proper development and testing that these systems will be safe. Further, any persons injured due to the fault of a self-driving car has access to the courthouse to obtain just compensation.