If you’ve been paying attention to the automotive industry at all,
you’re likely well-aware of the ability that some electric cars
have (notably those from automaker Tesla) to pilot themselves. However,
many people fear this new technology, and for good reason: it’s
still very much in its infancy, and a combination of faulty programming
as well as human error could lead to a crash that causes devastating injuries.
This brings up an interesting question that’s becoming more and
more relevant as the technology evolves: who is liable when an autonomous
How “Autonomous” Is the Car Really?
Did you know autonomous driving technology has actually already existed
in a limited capacity for several years? In fact, your car might even
have some of it—cruise control is an extremely limited type of autonomous
technology, where a computer controls the throttle of a car to keep it
driving at a steady speed. Today’s cars are taking things several
Because of this wide range of different levels of autonomy, The National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Society of Automotive Engineers
have created a six-step scale to show how autonomous a car actually is.
Zero on the scale is full and total human control, six total autonomy
with no human input whatsoever.
This scale is likely to be used when determining whether the driver of
one of these cars is held responsible for an accident or when the issue
becomes one of product liability. The common belief is that anything level
two or below is still the total responsibility of the driver, as they
still have a substantial degree of control over the vehicle. Anything
three or above, however, and things will get more complicated.
However, that being said, the test results for autonomous vehicles have
been promising. Autonomous driving can dramatically reduce the role of
the number one cause of car accidents: human error. As cars become more
and more capable of eliminating the human factor, driving will become
safer and liability will shift away from drivers and on to manufacturers
to ensure proper operation.
Have you been injured as a result of a car accident?
Call Dean Law Firm today at (432) 214-8125 and let our Midland car accident attorneys fight
for your rights!