There is no doubt that self-driving cars are the way of the future, but there are a few concerns regarding accidents involving such vehicles. One of the most pressing unsolved problems is: Who is responsible in the event of an accident involving a self-driving car? Since self-driving vehicles are still in their early stages, there is no simple answer. That is not very comforting if you have been in an accident with a self-driving car and were not the one driving. Before more of these vehicles hit the road, it is crucial to understand why assigning guilt is so difficult. Contact New Jersey injury lawyers at Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP, for more information.
Table of Contents
Manufacturers of self-driving cars mislabel features
When it comes to self-driving cars, there are not many guidelines in place, though many states are striving to change that. The terminology used for automated driving systems is one area that lacks regulation and could cause confusion in the event of an accident.
Manufacturers are often known to misname certain features, leading to driver confusion. For example, Tesla and other businesses refer to their systems as “autopilot,” although they still require significant human intervention. A German court determined that Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist technology is misleading.
Currently, no completely autonomous vehicles are classified as level 5 on the autonomous driving scale. Without human intervention, cars operating on “autopilot” are not yet on the market. Labeling features such as autopilot – when they are not – confuses and, eventually, causes accidents.
False sense of security
Confusion among drivers caused by deceptive driver-assist feature names might result in accidents and liability difficulties. Is it Tesla’s fault for the deceptive term, or is it the driver’s fault for not fully comprehending the automated driving feature if an accident occurs?
The German court that judged against Tesla’s use of the phrase “autopilot” for its feature held the company responsible. Examples like this show how easily drivers can be led astray behind the wheel of a self-driving automobile. The challenge, however, is determining whether it is the automobile manufacturer’s job to educate drivers on the system or whether the driver is accountable for knowing the features before using the vehicle.
Automated driving systems are not perfect
Along the same lines as the false sense of security issue, automated driving technologies are not without flaws. These systems continue to have errors, mostly owing to drivers’ ignorance of what they can and cannot accomplish. One research of Tesla Model S drivers discovered that when partial automation was active, drivers tended to spend more time with their eyes off the road.