The bright dream of autonomous vehicles is seemingly always just around the corner. It is always just a few years away.
Multiple manufacturers are working with technology companies to make it a reality. Indeed, delivery companies have unleashed autonomous robots to deliver goods across the United States and the world.
The great promise of these vehicles is that they will free us from the threat of motor vehicle accidents. However, according to recent accident data, the car crash free utopia does not appear to be true.
The car crash-free utopia
Futurists claim that, eventually, autonomous vehicles will be able to safely drive hundreds of miles per hour – perhaps just inches away from each other.
After all, if every Virginia car is running together on the same inputs, they can drive perfectly without human error.
If this is the eventual goal, that particular part of utopia may be decades away.
Recent motor vehicle accident data
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between July of last year and May of this year, there were 400 car accidents that involved a vehicle with some kind of driver assistance system, and another 130 accidents with a fully autonomous vehicle.
While the fully autonomous vehicle accidents had no serious injuries or deaths, several fatalities occurred in the driver assistance system crashes.
The data does not apportion fault to the technology, users or other drivers, but it does show that drivers could be involved in a car crash even if this technology is in use.
Do I sue the computer?
No. Even for those involved in an auto accident with a fully automated vehicle, there is always a person or entity to sue.
Until computers or artificial intelligence are given rights, fault will still be on us humans. For fully autonomous vehicle crashes, the owner and manufacturer are likely both liable.
What about assisted vehicles?
For driver-assisted vehicles, the personal injury lawsuit looks like a normal personal injury lawsuit. However, if the presumed at-fault driver claims the fault lies with the technology, then, your lawyer would also likely incorporate the vehicle’s manufacturer in your lawsuit.