Many people in South Carolina are distrustful of self-driving vehicles. Considering that there have recently been several accidents involving autonomous technology, it’s hard not to be. In May, the driver of a Tesla Model S collided with a Utah fire truck even though the Autopilot program was on. The driver survived with a broken ankle.
The accident became big news, prompting the CEO of Tesla as well as supporters of the self-driving car pioneer to post critical comments on social media. Their argument is that with so many serious car crashes taking place every day, the news media should not be focused on one so minor. Others have responded to the criticism, saying that Tesla wants to prevent scrutiny of technology that has, after all, not been proven safe.
A University of Michigan research paper from 2017 suggests that self-driving vehicles must be driven in real-world or simulated settings for 11 billion miles before they can be considered safer than cars with human drivers. Tesla has not reached this number. In fact, some say that its technology has been developed in a regulatory vacuum.
Regardless of the role that autonomous technology can have in a car accident, the drivers themselves can be held liable for the other party’s injuries. Victims can speak with a lawyer about filing a claim with the defendant’s auto insurance company. Once the lawyer sees that a valid claim can be made, he or she can hire a team to investigate the accident. The lawyer could then handle negotiations or go straight to litigation.