Florida Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyers
Technology is making changes to our lives by leaps and bounds. Many days, it seems as if we are just a heartbeat away from some brave new world as depicted in movies like Star Trek or Blade Runner. One area that this is particularly true is when it comes to automotive advancements. What was once thought of as a pipedream of science fiction is now a reality: the driverless car.
Companies such as Google and Tesla have recently begun offering self-driving cars that can maneuver you through busy city streets with the ease of being in a chauffeured driven vehicle. However, your “chauffeur” is actually a computer built into the car complete with a guidance system that monitors traffic patterns and the cars and other vehicles around you. But, if you have ever bought the first generation of some piece of computer or technological equipment, you know there are going to be bugs in the system. If a new cellphone or operating system can drive you crazy with lost calls or computer crashes until the bugs get fixed, then you can be frustrated and inconvenienced. Many experts, however, worry that bugs in the system of driverless cars can end up getting someone killed. Although the goal of driverless cars is highway safety as cars can be programmed to avoid each other, we are still a long way off from this glorious future.
Take, for example, a recent very high-profile case. On May 7, 2016, Joshua Brown, a 40 year old Navy veteran from Ohio was killed while riding in his Tesla Model S. This model of Tesla boasts the driverless software that allows for “hands-free” driving. In fact, Brown was so impressed with the car that he posted videos showing him navigating traffic without having to touch the steering wheel and he even praised the car for saving him. However, on this fateful day, a transfer truck in front of the Tesla stopped to make a left-hand turn and the car failed to stop in time. The car plowed into the rear of the vehicle and, by one report, the top of the car was sheared off killing Brown. The crash is still being investigated, but the Tesla company issued a statement that “neither autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor-trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied.”
Although this fatal accident is considered a serious blow to the driverless car industry, most experts agree that it will bounce back and continue to thrive and expand. What is less clear, however, is what this means for the future of automobile accident litigation. If a person fails to hit the brakes in time, causing a fatal car crash, the liability is fairly easy to ascertain. However, if a car’s computer causes the crash, then who is to blame? Ultimately, the answer depends on who you ask. Attorneys and courts will be sorting this out over the next few years. More than likely, the first line of liability will be the computer company that designed the system or the car company that made the vehicle. Eventually, these lawsuits could extend to the designers of the mapping systems and algorithms used to control the cars.
In order to help determine who is ultimately responsible if you or a loved one has been injured, it is necessary to contact a lawyer that is skilled in this field of litigation and is willing to help create court precedence with a groundbreaking case. The attorneys of Wolf & Pravato are available for a free consultation to evaluate your case and inform you of your rights and help to ascertain where liability may lie.