You may have heard the news: An Uber Technologies Inc. autonomous vehicle was involved in an accident in Arizona. A human driver in a Honda CRV turning left at a yellow light hit the self-driving Volvo as it was crossing the intersection. Though the Volvo flipped onto its side after hitting a pole, no serious injuries were reported.
Accident investigators found the human driver to be at fault. The artificially intelligent (AI) vehicle was traveling just under the speed limit, and the employee “behind the wheel” stated he saw the Honda driver but did not have time to react.
The AI Rules and Regulations in Ca
California requires Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits from the Occupational Licensing Branch (form OL 311), per Vehicle Code §38750. If you are an autonomous tester, you must also submit either a Manufacturer Surety Bond (OL 317), or a Certificate of Self Insurance (OL 319), and certain company structures require submission of Articles of Incorporation, Corporate Minutes, and identities of key executives.
About 30 autonomous vehicle tech companies have applied to the CA DMV to test their autonomous vehicles on our streets and highways since 2014. Uber is one of the companies that initially refused to comply with the licensing requirements, and shipped their AI vehicles to more robot-friendly states. The Financial Times reports, “The ranks of those offering ride-sharing services have swelled far beyond the likes of Uber and Lyft, past the self-driving gurus like Google sister company Waymo, past even the established automakers. And now these ride-hailing companies are licensed to drive driverless in the Golden State, as well.
Self-Driving Accident Liability
According to the DMV, about 25 autonomous vehicle accident reports have been filed since the state first began permitting AI vehicle testing. Most of these accidents seem to be caused by human error – mostly humans driving non-autonomous vehicles.
When you look at the individual reports, you’ll see that many of them involve vehicles using Google technology – but upon reading the reports you’ll notice that most involve rear-end collisions where the AI vehicle was the one hit from behind.
As we saw above, most of the AI accidents in California were caused by humans, not technology. And it’s unclear at this point, should anyone suffer injuries or a fatality in these accidents that would be to blame. Clients engaging injury attorneys may find themselves going after the vehicle manufacturer, the software programmer as well as the vehicle’s owner.
And of course, passengers in autonomous vehicles who suffer injuries due to the error of human drivers will have access to traditional remedies – going after the other driver and his/her insurance company.
Need more information about self driving cars and accident liability?
CONTACT KJT LAW GROUP
Our legal experts can take you through the new rules and regulations for self driving autos. We understand the complexities associated with acquiring an AI license as well to what to do if you have an accident, Let the professionals at KJT LAW GROUP help. Call us at (818) 507-8525 or contact us for a free consultation.