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Friday, October 9, 2015

Mercedes, Volvo, and Google Accept Autonomous Car Liability


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

Autonomous cars will be brought to the mass market very soon, and in all practicality, will most likely make our roads safer. Those that adopt the technology are less likely to have an interest in actually driving, and leave things up to the car. With that, there hasn’t been much discussion on where liability rests when these systems go wrong. Who’s is really to blame when the car is doing to the driving?
According to Volvo, Mercedes and Google, these three manufacturers will accept liability with their respective automobiles equipped with autonomous systems. Last weekend, 60 Minutes filmed a segment that had both Google and Mercedes state, “If their technology is at fault once it becomes commercially available, they’ll accept responsibility and liability. But all involved expect fewer crashes as the technology evolves.”


Then, speaking at the Swedish Embassy earlier this week, Volvo Chief Håkan Samuelsson stated that “Volvo will accept full liability whenever one of its cars is in autonomous mode.” These assurances have preempted any real legal discussion at the federal level throughout governments around the world. In all, there hasn’t been much in the way of legislation pushed through on autonomous cars.
The statements made above are also quite rare to come from an automaker. In the past, automakers would only accept liability after something has happened. It seems that in the wake of the GM ignition scandal, and the Volkswagen emission scandal, these three automakers are getting out in front of a potentially dangerous situation before another scandal becomes a PR disaster.