Innovation has always been at the center of the automotive industry. People have long dreamed about cars being able to fly like planes or float on water. But now, thanks to Elon Musk’s self-driving Tesla, those whimsical ideas are now reality.
Tesla’s autopilot functionality is becoming increasingly popular. However, this technology is still in its early stages, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened up an investigation into the automobile manufacturer following a number of recent autopilot related crashes. On Wednesday, March 17th, a Tesla Model Y crashed into a stationary state trooper’s vehicle near Lansing, Michigan.
The executive director of the nonprofit, Center for Auto Safety, has accused Tesla of “intentionally misleading the public regarding the capabilities and shortcomings of their technology,” and despite the rising number of accidents, Musk’s company has yet to seriously respond.
Though still in development, drivers need to prepare for the growing reality of driverless cars, which poses the legal question: who is responsible in a crash involving a self-driving vehicle?
Given that the technology is still in development, it appears that the owner of the car is still the liable party. Tesla has tried to minimize its own liability by claiming its technology is not fully autonomous and requires constant attention by the driver while in use.
Autonomous vehicles are also programmed to alert the driver to take control in unsafe conditions. Until cars are fully autonomous and passenger intervention is not needed, fault likely will continue to be assigned to the driver.
However, there are times when the autonomous vehicle manufacturer has been held liable for the incident. Just as in a regular automotive crash, if the crashed occurred due to flawed technology or faulty machinery, the manufacturer is typically held responsible.
Filing a lawsuit against an automobile manufacturer can be complex and difficult. You need an attorney with a successful track record in automobile cases to help you investigate the situation.
Seek Damages with the help of McNabola Law Group
It is crucial you seek out legal assistance quickly after an accident involving a self-driving vehicle. Contact McNabola Law Group or call (312) 629-2900 for a no-cost, no-pressure, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights.