Various news outlets reported that a driver-less vehicle crashed into a semi truck following its launch at an event in Las Vegas earlier this month. The crash occurred just two hours after the introduction and promotion event for the first self-driving shuttle in the United States aimed at serving the public. Interestingly, it was the human driver of the other vehicle that was reportedly at fault. Fortunately the incident only caused minor damage and there were no injuries.
The shuttle in question, which can transport up to 12 passengers at a time, comes equipped with electric curb sensors and uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) in lieu of a steering wheel or brake pedals.
The introduction of the shuttle comes on the heels of the passage of the Self Drive Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this fall. If passed in the Senate, the bill would exempt car manufacturers from having to follow various state and federal regulations that typically apply to automobile manufacturing. States would still be able to determine whether or not to allow self-driving cars on their roads.
Last spring, Uber announced that it was hitting pause on its self-driving vehicle tests following a collision in Arizona. A similar accident occurred in California early last year, when a Google self-driving car struck a bus. In that case, it was the self-driving car that caused the injury, apparently due to some difficulty with having to sense the larger sized vehicle that it collided with.
Reportedly, Volvo, Nissan, BMW, Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, and others are among the major auto manufacturers similarly attempting to invest in the development of self-driving vehicles.
Self-driving vehicles, although different than large trucks, are likely going to be subject to the same sorts of commercial vehicle protections and insurance systems. What this means is that if you are injured due to a self-driving vehicle, the process in order to take care of the damage that the accident causes will probably be much more complicated than a typical fender bender.
It is interesting to consider that these vehicles are unlike other ride sharing services, such as Uber, where drivers are held to the same legal standards as regular motor vehicle operators. In the case of typical ride sharing services, the drivers must abide by all traffic safety and motor vehicle laws under Florida Law, found in Chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes. Here, however, if the Self Drive Act becomes law, the cars will not be subjected to certain requirements, and of course there is no driver to hold personally accountable.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck or motor vehicle accident, the law firm of Gerson & Schwartz, PA is here to help you. For an immediate, no obligation, and free consultation contact us at 1-877-475-2905. Our experienced law firm represents injured victims throughout the state of Florida including Miami-Dade, Broward, Orlando, Homestead, Naples, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Fort Meyers, and the Florida Keys.
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