Questions of liability are difficult to answer regarding a car on autopilot involved in fatal crash.
Google has been working on a self-driving car for years and it will still take a few years before it is rolled out to the public. Google claims that when its self-driving car hits the market, it will be more advanced than any other technology on the market and that it will be an autonomous vehicle, allowing drivers to simply input the destination. Tesla has also developed a new autopilot system for their luxury electric cars.
Tesla Autopilot System
Tesla’s technology is more like an advanced version of cruise control. The car will travel on the road, slow down or speed up, and change lanes as required. It is not an autonomous vehicle and the driver must keep his or her hands on the steering wheel at all times.
The Tesla autopilot system is already on the market and there have been some accidents, including one fatal accident. A semi-truck was traveling down the road and made a turn in front of the Tesla, which was on autopilot. Tesla’s autopilot system failed to detect the semi-truck because of its white color. The autopilot system’s camera could not distinguish the semi-truck’s bright side from the bright sky. The autopilot system did not apply the brakes or take any other evasive measures. The electric car crashed into the semi-truck at high speed and the driver of the car was killed.
Who is Liable?
The question that arises is at what speed was the Tesla traveling at the time of the crash? Most modern cars feature on board data recorders that perform the same function as that of a black box in a commercial aircraft. Although the system is not as sophisticated as the ones available on airliners, it does record crucial information such as the vehicle’ s speed, controls such as brakes engaged, and other useful data that may help a crash reconstruction team. The investigators found that the Tesla was traveling 9 mph over the posted speed limit at the time of the crash.
This leaves many questions. Did the system know that the vehicle was traveling over the posted speed limit? Was the system not able to find the speed limit due to equipment failure? Who is liable for a fatal accident?
Chicago Auto Crash Lawyer
If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a reckless driver, speak to a Chicago auto crash lawyer from Willens Law Offices. Call us at (312) 957-4166.