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Self driving car accidents and liability

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Many cars in Tennessee have autonomous technology built-in like lane keep assist and cruise control. However, completely self-driving cars are a lot rarer. In fact, many people argue that self-driving cars don’t exist yet, as even the most advanced autonomous technology requires some human supervision.

Tesla’s autopilot feature

With its Autopilot feature, Tesla is at the forefront of autonomous vehicle technology. Although the company advertises that its cars can drive themselves, several people have been killed in car accidents while using Autopilot.

In April, two people were killed while test driving a Tesla using Autopilot with no one at the driver’s seat. According to Tesla, there is a warning in the vehicle manual and on the website that lets drivers know Autopilot requires human supervision. However, these statements seem to contradict advertising that implies that cars are driverless.

Confusing laws about self-driving cars

Since self-driving cars are so new, there is a lot of confusion about who should be held liable for accidents. Laws are unclear on whether the car manufacturer, the car owner or both are legally to blame for accidents that occur while an autonomous vehicle is operating.

So far, over 80 companies in the US are in the process of developing more than 1,400 self-driving car models. There has also been a driverless taxi service operating in Phoenix, Arizona since 2018. Even if self-driving cars are proven to be safer than traditional cars, there are bound to be motor vehicle accidents involving them.

What to do if you are in a self-driving car accident

If you are involved in an accident with a self-driving car, you should respond the same way that you would in any other accident. Make sure everyone involved in the crash is OK and dial 911. Never leave the scene of a car accident until you’ve spoken to the police, even if the other car has no driver.