Autonomous car technology and liability

Louisiana residents may be aware of the autonomous car technology that is being tested in California, Nevada, Florida and Michigan. Manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Google and Volvo have called for the federal government to increase testing permissions across the country and provide regulations that would allow autonomous car technology to move forward. Even Apple has been rumored to be working on autonomous car technology.

Cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S550 already offer semiautonomous technology, but such progress is raising questions of liability. Without the driver being in control of the vehicle, some have expressed concerns about who would be responsible in the event of an accident. According to Google, 94 percent of all accidents involve human error, but the remaining 6 percent of accidents may pose issues when it comes to vehicular intelligence as it is doubtful that any early stage autonomous vehicle would perform with 100 percent accuracy.

Mercedes-Benz, Google and Volvo have announced that they are willing to take full responsibility for any accidents involving their autonomous vehicles. The CEO and president of Volvo has further urged the government to allow automakers to expand testing programs. He as also called for the implementation of cohesive regulations on United States roads and cautioned against the patchwork of regulations that have caused confusion in Europe.

Pedestrians, passengers and drivers injured in car accidents involving an autonomous vehicle may have a difficult time determining who is at fault. A personal injury lawyer may be able to ascertain liability through a review of the police accident investigation report and an analysis of the vehicle's operations.

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