To prevent auto accidents that are caused by human error, car companies have been racing to develop vehicles that can operate without human intervention. Unfortunately, more often than not, collisions are caused as a result of critical driver error and negligence. The goal of autonomous vehicles is to help drivers be safer. Many cars on the road are equipped with some degree of automation. With more vehicles equipped with self-driving capabilities, many drivers wonder who may be responsible for an accident involving a self-driving car. Keep reading to learn who can be held liable for an autonomous vehicle accident and how our adept Car Accident Attorneys In Prince George’s County, Maryland can help you establish fault.
What is an autonomous vehicle?
Autonomous vehicles also known as self-driving cars can operate without human intervention. They are designed with advanced algorithms and software systems that allow them to detect their environment to navigate to a destination. Fully automated vehicles are intended to be driverless. However, fully automated vehicles have not been developed yet. Nowadays, car companies have developed vehicles with self-driving capabilities such as cruise control, emergency braking systems, blind-spot detection, and lane assistance. However, regardless of their automation features drivers are still necessary to control the vehicle. The Society of Automotive Engineers classifies different levels of automation:
- Level 0: No automation. The driver controls everything.
- Level 1: Minimal automation.
- Level 2: Partial automation.
- Level 3: The vehicle can operate without a driver’s control. However, a driver is still necessary.
- Level 4: The vehicle can operate without human intervention under certain conditions. The driver can regain control at any time.
- Level 5: Fully automated. The vehicle can operate without the driver.
Who is liable for an accident involving a self-driving car?
Similar to other types of auto accidents, several parties may be liable for the collision. Ultimately, it depends on the circumstances of the accident. The following parties may be responsible for an accident involving a self-driving car:
- The driver. Despite autonomous vehicles being able to operate without human intervention. Drivers are legally required to remain alert while being at the wheel in case they have to regain control of the vehicle at any point. If a driver’s negligent actions cause a collision they can be held liable for any damages that occur as a result of their negligence.
- The manufacturer. If there is an issue with the car itself such as a mechanical issue or a defective part, the manufacturer can be held liable. If a malfunctioning part caused a crash and there is nothing the driver could have done, the liability falls on the vehicle’s manufacturer.
- The software company. If there is an issue with the software systems, the technology developers can be held liable for a collision. Self-driving cars rely on their software to operate without the driver’s control. If there is an issue with the software, the software developer could be held liable for a crash.
In the unfortunate event that you have been injured in an accident involving a self-driving car, it is imperative to speak with a trusted car accident attorney in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek monetary compensation for their damages.