Blog

If a Self-Driving Car Gets Into an Accident, Who’s at Fault? [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_auto_car_400.jpgThe world might not see legitimate artificial intelligence for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean developers aren’t taking baby steps in the right direction. A current example of this is Google and its automated vehicles. If Google is capable of successfully making a self-driving car that’s aware of its surroundings, we might see them on the roads as early as 2020.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared that Google’s self-driving vehicles can be considered a driver. As reported by ZDNet, Google sought to clarify what it would take to make their driverless cars highway-safe. In order for Google’s cars to be seen as compliant with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, all they had to do was change the position of the brake pedal and sensors, after which the vehicles were declared “safe enough.”

For an example of how one of these automated cars views its surroundings, watch this video:

While this might seem of little consequence, it’s actually a huge step forward for the development of artificial intelligence. Of course, with such a huge push, there will be complications; in this case, they come in the form of accident liability.

If a driverless vehicle were to be involved in an accident, who’s to blame? You can’t sue a vehicle, unless you want to go directly to the manufacturer and claim that it’s their fault for producing a faulty product. Unfortunately, the manufacturer could simply blame the user for failing to set the device up properly. Also, would insurance companies require new coverage to accommodate the presence of automated vehicles on the roads?

These questions aren’t easily answered, so liability will likely remain a major issue for any autonomous vehicles. Since a driverless car doesn’t have anyone behind the wheel, it’s difficult to place the blame on any one entity in particular. As the feds claimed in their letter to Google, “If no human occupant of the vehicle can actually drive the vehicle, it is more reasonable to identify the ‘driver’ as whatever (as opposed to whoever) is doing the driving.” So, in the case of the autonomous vehicle, finding out who or what is at fault is challenging at best.

Another critical issue is how well Google’s autonomous cars can fit into the current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Will regulations regarding specific human anatomy have to be changed in order to accommodate motor vehicles? As reported by WIRED:

The rule regarding the car’s braking system, for example, says it “shall be activated by means of a foot control.” The rules around headlights and turn signals refer to hands. NHTSA can easily change how it interprets those rules, but there’s no reasonable way to define Google’s software—capable as it is—as having body parts. All of which means, the feds “would need to commence a rulemaking to consider how FMVSS No. 135 [the rule governing braking] might be amended in response to ‘changed circumstances,'” the letter says. Getting an exemption to one of these rules is a long and difficult process, Walker Smith says. But “the regular rulemaking process is even more onerous.”

Even if liability remains a problem for autonomous cars, the fact that authorities can refer to computers as “drivers” means that they can be considered humans (or human-like), at least behind the wheel of a car. Developers of artificial intelligence will likely face similar issues, but this advancement gives them hope that their efforts will not be in vain. Though Google has slated its automated cars to be available to the public by 2020, we might have to wait just a little bit longer, even for the most basic form of artificial intelligence.

What are your thoughts on AI and autonomous cars? Would you feel comfortable riding in one, let alone driving on a road populated by them? Let us know in the comments.

Related Articles

  • What You Need to Know About the Growing FinTech Market Money needs to move in order for the economy to work. Traditionally, banks are the major lending institutions, and as a result have to adhere to a myriad of regulations. To provide an equitable system that people aren’t afraid to utilize, there are a lot of checks and balances that have put in place...
  • What Could Possibly Be Wrong with Your Computer? Slow computers are one of the small annoyances in an office that can implicate a much larger issue is hidden. The frustration stems from not being able to get anything done, whether it’s because the computer isn’t responding to your commands or it’s so slow that you can’t accomplish anything notewor...
  • Do You Know How to Determine Your Computing Needs? In most businesses today, the computer is an essential tool. Taking this into consideration, you need to make sure that your staff is equipped with the right tools for their given job… but which tool is the right tool? Here, we’ll review the determinations that will help you make the best choice of ...
  • What’s New with Blockchain? Blockchain is one of the most popular emerging technologies, and it’s easy to see why. While the technology behind blockchain was once looked at as having no practical application in the workplace, it is now taking a seat front and center as a security tool for a modern business environment. Let’s t...
  • Foldable Smartphones Launching in 2019 Last year saw many rumors regarding foldable screens on mobile devices, but no manufacturer has produced an OLED display flexible enough to fold in half… until now. In fact, there are many manufacturers out there that have committed themselves to producing foldable screens and devices in 2019. OL...
  • Tip of the Week: How Small Business Goes About Utilizing Tec... No matter how big a business is, it has to leverage at least some IT in order to be efficient. Unfortunately, some organizations are reluctant to implement new technology if they don’t seem to need it immediately. What these businesses don’t know is that the reason they typically don’t implement new...
With the surge in the number of small and medium businesses that have fallen prey to malware and cyber criminals, there is a lot of focus of what an organization can do to prevent being a victim and how the company should handle themselves after an attack. There is another key factor to preventing cyber criminals from penetrating into your network:...

- Onsite Service Coverage Area -

Onsite Computer Support Services are available to businesses within 100 miles of Nashua New Hampshire. We have excellent onsite coverage from Concord NH, south through Manchester NH and then down into Boston. From Northern and Central Mass we cover from Worcester, east to the North Shore, including the Salem and Portsmouth NH area.

 

603-889-0800

White Mountain IT Services
33 Main Street Suite 302
Nashua, New Hampshire 03064

 

 padlock1  Cyber Security Toolkit

cloud desktop2 Cloud Desktop Login

Open Positions