Who is to blame if a self-driving car crashes?

SelfDrivingCars
SelfDrivingCars
  • The UK unveiled a new roadmap to usher in self-driving cars by 2025.
  • The plan details liability protections, an issue area that regulators are continuing to develop worldwide.
  • “It is not surprising to see the UK, a global leader in inclusive AV policy making, released an informed liability update,” said the Forum’s head of automotive and new mobility.

Most drivers are well aware of the unpleasant experience of assessing blame and navigating insurance claims after a car accident. But what if an accident occurs and there is no driver involved?

This hypothetical is quickly approaching as the technology behind self-driving cars advances and countries worldwide prepare for more automation on the roads. This month, the United Kingdom unveiled a new roadmap to usher in self-driving cars by 2025. The plan makes clear that the manufacturer of an automated vehicle (AV)—not the driver—will be held liable for accidents that might occur when the car is in self-driving mode.

“We want the UK to be at the forefront of developing and using this fantastic technology,” said Grant Shapps, the UK transport secretary. “That is why we are investing millions in vital research into safety and setting the legislation to ensure we gain the full benefits that this technology promises.”

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