Automotive Weekly: Self Driving Cars

Drake Smith, News Editor

Following the recent fatal crashes of self-driving cars by Uber and Tesla, the autonomous vehicle industry has proven to be unusually complex. Now the auto manufacturers must be even more specific regarding the car does at control of the driver, as well as what the driver cannot control. This way the insurance and legal industries have a clear image of who is to blame for the accidents. “The OEMs (carmakers) right now are trying really hard to accurately describe what this equipment can do and can’t do,” said Tom Vanderford, associate general counsel at Hyundai. Features on modern cars such as lane assist can potentially cause accidents where the driver had no responsibility or fault for the car’s actions. In such a scenario, the car manufacturer would be responsible for the accident, and they would be required to pay for all of the damages. However, the family of the driver in the Tesla crash has had little success after hiring a lawyer because Tesla states that they are not responsible for drivers that do not follow all of their safety measurements, unless defective equipment was present. The legality of autonomous vehicles is sure to cause several problems down the road, as we can only wonder how often these defects will occur.