California is one of the leading states in the nation when it comes to self-driving cars. This potentially revolutionary technology has been designed and tested on the roads of the state, and the initial usage of these driverless vehicles has been manifestly positive. There have been no fatalities or injuries reported in association with any of these automobiles yet.
However, the rate at which self-driving cars are involved in car accidents has been found to be twice the rate of cars with human driver. Experts speculate that this may be because the laws of the road do not cover all the incidents that occur on the road, and there are times that conditions become confusing to the self-driving cars. Unpredictable interactions with drivers, bicyclists and other humans appear to be the source of much of the vehicles’ confusion.
Driving may be described as a social game. This means that, although the laws of driving are well known and the self-driving cars are physically able to navigate the roads, interactions with other drivers present their own challenges that self driving cars have yet to completely be able to negotiate.
While some of the manufacturers of these driverless vehicles have in the past said that they would bear the financial responsibility of accidents involving them, they may change their minds if and when these cars become more visible on the road. In the meantime, a person who has been injured in such an accident may want to meet with a personal injury attorney in order to determine the legal recourse that may be available for seeking compensation for the damages that have been incurred.
Source: Bloomberg, “Humans Are Slamming Into Driverless Cars and Exposing a Key Flaw”, Keith Naughton, Dec. 17, 2015