Self-driving cars represent the arrival of technology once only imagined in science-fiction novels. Books and films aren’t the only places to find self-driving vehicles, as these models are now appearing on some Texas roads. Controversy surrounds these innovative cars, though. News reports about self-driving vehicles leave the public skeptical about their safety.
Regulations, reports, and self-driving cars
The National Highway Safety Administration does not want vehicles powered on autopilot to hide any crash statistics. The NHTSA wants mandatory reports that reveal when an autopiloted vehicle becomes involved in a collision. Keeping accurate records of crash data could provide a decent picture of how safe or dangerous the models are.
Learning when, where, how, and why a crash occurred, authorities may take pinpointed regulatory steps to address safety concerns. Without appropriate data to draw from, correcting repeat problems may be challenging.
Of course, the NHTSA would require accurate reports from carmakers or drivers. Reviewing the reports could take some time and not necessarily result in an immediate solution, even when presented with detailed data.
Liability matters and self-driving car accidents
When the facts surrounding a self-driving vehicle crash come to light, a personal injury lawsuit might name several defendants. If the driver did not follow his or her duty to take manual control at the appropriate time, such inaction might be deemed negligence.
When a vehicle suffers from defects and safety issues, the manufacturer may be liable for accidents. Did the manufacturer try to cover up any apparent problems? If so, things might not look good for the company in court. And mechanics must use care when performing repairs. Technicians that undermine safety with botched jobs could face liability claims.