Self-driving cars have the potential to revolutionize transportation, making it safer and more efficient than ever before. One of the critical advantages of self-driving cars is their ability to react quickly to environmental changes. With sensors and onboard computers, self-driving cars can constantly monitor their surroundings and take evasive action if necessary. But even with all this beneficial technology, accidents can still happen.
When people hear the term “self-driving,” they may think of a completely driverless vehicle. While that is where the technology is heading, it is not quite there yet. There are currently six levels of vehicle autonomy.
Level 0 cars have no automated features at all. The human driver must perform all driving tasks.
Level 1 cars feature some automated functions, such as cruise control or lane-keeping assistance, but the human driver is still responsible for most tasks.
Level 2 cars are semi-autonomous, with multiple automated functions working together, but the human driver remains responsible for monitoring the environment and making decisions when necessary.
Level 3 cars can detect the surrounding environment and can make their own decisions. The human driver still must maintain awareness if intervention is needed.
Level 4 cars are highly autonomous, with the computer system taking over most driving tasks, even being capable of correcting system failures, but being capable of handing control back to the human driver if necessary.
Level 5 cars are fully autonomous, with no need for a human driver.
Thus, when talking about self-driving cars, we primarily speak about vehicles within levels 1 to 2, as they are the most common.
When a car accident occurs, the first question that must be answered is who is at fault. In most cases, this is relatively straightforward, as one driver will have made an error that led to the collision. However, in the case of a self-driving car, liability can be much more challenging to establish.
- Manufacturer Liability - If, for example, the car was equipped with sensors and software that failed to detect an obstacle the manufacturer of the car may be held liable.
- Software Company Liability - If the software was not properly programmed or maintained, the company responsible for programming or maintaining it might be liable.
- Driver Liability - As discussed in the levels above, drivers still maintain a level of autonomy as cars cannot completely drive themselves quite yet. A driver of a semi-autonomous vehicle can still be found liable if the accident could have been avoided under their control.
Nashville, Tennessee Car Accident Attorneys
At Witherington Injury Law, we have extensive experience handling car accident cases. We understand the complex laws and regulations surrounding these types of accidents, and we know how to build a strong case for our clients. If you have been involved in a car accident, we can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at (615) 697-6503 or fill out our form online.