While the following accident didn’t happen here in Portland, Oregon, the circumstances of the crash will soon be relevant to every city all across the country; because the self-driving revolution isn’t stopping.
The crash in question happened in Pittsburgh, where a self-driving car operated by Argo AI — a self-driving startup backed by Ford — was hit as it crossed through an intersection. A truck traveling in cross traffic t-boned the self-driving vehicle, which was carrying four people in it. Two of them had to be transported to a hospital, but they were listed in stable condition.
It was unclear if any charges had been filed against the truck driver, even though the driver allegedly ran a red light. The investigation into the crash is ongoing. We will certainly know more after the report on this accident is completed.
What is important to realize about this crash is that human error was involved, but that doesn’t mean self-driving cars aren’t a problem, or that they won’t be continuing into the future. What if a self-driving car has a technical glitch? What if the lane departure systems or guidance systems fail? What about insurance policies? How will they factor in self-driving cars now?
There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to self-driving cars, road safety, liability, and regulation. While those matters get sorted out, it is imperative for people affected by a self-driving car accident to consider their legal rights and options.
Source: The Verge, “Ford-backed self-driving car involved in an accident that sent two people to the hospital,” Andrew J. Hawkins, Jan. 10, 2018