Brad Pistotnik Law looks at self-driving cars and the possible impact on personal injury law.

Tesla and the first car crash while autopilot is in use

Brad Pistotnik finds the self-driving car future fascinating. There is so much buzz about self-driving cars and the possibility of car crashes. There has already been a fatal accident in a Tesla Model S that has questioned the safety of these vehicles. Tesla told investigators that there was a technical failure of the automatic breaking system but claims that the Autopilot of the car was not at fault. This accident happened in Florida when the Tesla crashed into a truck that was turning in front of it. The Tesla then ran off the road and hit a fence and a power pole before it came to a stop. What does this mean for the near future of self-driving cars? If the Tesla hadn’t been on autopilot would this accident have happened? That is the question that has to be addressed. What fault is the driver and what fault is the autopilot system? Tesla says that the computer driven cars aren’t meant to be “hands-free” for the driver.

Google and its self-driving vehicles

Google is planning to partner with car-makers for autonomous driving. Google cars will use a technology called Lidar. Lidar uses light detection and ranging in a device that goes on top of the automobile. This is not the same technology used by Tesla. The software in these vehicles senses objects around based on their size, shape and their movement pattern. So, essentially the software and computer must detect impending activity and predict what will happen next. Google has been testing these vehicles by taking out the steering wheel and the pedals to see exactly what a car can do by itself. For more information look at the google website about their self-driving car project.

The future for lawsuits and self-driving vehicles

It is an interesting to imagine what will happen with the self-driving cars. Whether they are Google or Tesla the most important consideration should be safety. If no one is behind the wheel who is at fault if these cars are involved in an accident. Who or what could be at fault for the wreck and injuries caused by the accident? Accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers know that with fault being an issue in every accident, there may be an increase in the number of defendants for these self-driving vehicles. The computer programmers, computer companies, designers of algorithms, automobile makers, mapping companies, the list goes on and on. This won’t make cases easier, it will make the issue of fault and research about that fault far more in depth. It will be interesting to see what ends up happening with these computer driven cars. Negligence will have to be proven beyond the owner of the car. Insurance will be complicated. Once self-driving cars are on the road, precedent will be set by the first several accidents.

Brad Pistotnik is an accident attorney and founder of Brad Pistotnik Law and the original Pistotnik Law office in Wichita, Kansas. If you have been injured in an accident contact Brad Pistotnik Law now for a free consultation. Hurt in a car accident? Call Brad Pistotnik Law now to know your rights!

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