Is a self-driving truck liable if something goes wrong? There is a shift from the main responsibility for vehicle operations from a human to a machine. Moreover, this is more often referring to as SAE level 4 and Level 5 autonomy. Now, it is raising unusual questions. They are unsettling for the court system. They also cause problems for the insurance industry.
Self-Driving Truck Vs. Reasonable Person
The legal system has typically used what is calling tort law or negligence, explains J.W. Taylor, owner of Taylor and Associates. This company is a West Haven, Florida-based law firm. It specializes in transportation. Moreover, up until now, all claims and respective damages pertaining to auto crashes are connecting to a breach of duty of safe vehicle operations. It would be that a “reasonable person” would more often observe. This is all new technology with self-driving vehicles. This is changing dramatically more and more.
Muddling the Tort System
Therefore, the Tort system is mudding by the burgeoning ADAS and autonomous vehicle technology. Moreover, this occurs in ways that will have what is calling a wide-reaching impact. This occurs on the future of automobiles and commercial transportation.
Wherein, it relates to motor vehicle accidents, the Tort law. This has stayed largely unchanged since the first automobile accident in 1869. It was when scientist Mary Ward fell and thrown under a steam-powered auto. However, Bridget Driscoll was the first pedestrian killing by an automobile in 1896. In London, she stepped off a curb. From there, she went into the path of an automobile driven by Arthur Edsall. Edsall was arresting and charging with an accidental death.
Moreover, the coroner for Driscoll was quoting as saying he hoping that “such a thing would never happen again.”
Many Decades Later…
Elaine Herzberg on March 18, 2018, was pushing a bicycle. It was across a four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona. Herzberg fatally struck by a semi-autonomous Uber vehicle. However, that was equipping with a human driver. It was a backup for the autonomous driving system. Wherein, semi-autonomous vehicle, this arrangement, wherein a semi-autonomous vehicle is operating with a human driver. By the way, who may be overriding the vehicle’s controls, is referring to as SAE Level 3 autonomy.