Who is Liable for Damages When There is no Human Driver?
Self driving cars are being developed, tested, and put on the road right now and many wonder if they are safe. Can they adequately “see” other cars? And what about bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians? A near-miss between a self-driving Tesla and a Phoenix motorcycle police officer last year raised eyebrows in the motorcycle community even though there were no serious injuries.
According to USA Today: The officer, who was in front of the Tesla, stopped for a traffic signal, police said. After also stopping briefly, the Tesla began creeping forward, prompting the officer to jump off his motorcycle and move away. The officer later estimated the car was moving at about three miles per hour, police said. There were no injuries or damage.
Recently The Mercury News reported: General Motors is in a race to be the first company to mass produce self-driving cars, but a recent crash with a San Francisco motorcyclist has illustrated the tricky challenge of assigning blame when an autonomous vehicle gets in an accident.
Self-driving cars operate using sensors and those sensors are calibrated to “see” cars, trucks, and trees. Obviously they should not tell the car to slam on the brakes if a pigeon crosses the road, but somewhere between a car or truck and a bird are motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Are these cars going to be able to detect a motorcycle when one is riding alongside on the highway? Will the sensors detect a child stepping into the street? These are very serious questions and people need to know the answers.
Floridians have a right to know what their rights are if they are involved in an accident with one of these self-driving vehicle.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with automobile drivers, truck drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who are seriously injured on Florida roads for 25 years. We will do everything possible to make sure you are compensated for injuries and damages when we are on your side. Please call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions.