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Liability for self-driving cars

Self-driving cars have been talked about for years, and the reality seems to be getting closer. However, residents in Hawaii will still have to wait for them to get past the testing stage, as some of the tests demonstrate the technology is not working properly. Recent accidents also beg the question of who is responsible in the event of a crash.

USA Today reports the latest test drive by an Uber autonomous vehicle resulted in an unfortunate death. A 49 year-old woman was hit by the SUV, which did not slow down at all when it came in her path. Although there was a test driver in the driver's seat, video from inside the vehicle shows he did not have enough time to react and prevent the accident from occurring and will possibly not be found to be liable. Investigation is ongoing, but there is a chance it was the pedestrian's fault she was hit because it looks as if she was walking outside of the intended crosswalk.

According to Stanford Law, there may be other parties responsible for this fatal accident. Uber may end up taking the blame, especially if the driver was not following proper safety protocols. If the SUV's autonomous technology, such as radar and sensors, are found not to be working properly, Uber as well as the vehicle's manufacturer may be held responsible. No matter who is found to be at fault, this collision has brought to focus the downfalls of self-driving technology and more regulations may need to be put in place for future vehicles.  

 

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