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Assessing liability for autonomous car accidents

With an estimated 94 percent of all auto accidents resulting from human error, autonomous car technology holds promise for drivers in Louisiana and around the country. Major auto industry manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have already unveiled semi-autonomous vehicles that reduce the burden of driving. Nonetheless, such technology has sparked questions of worst case scenarios involving autonomous cars. For example, a situation in which an autonomous car is heading towards a traffic pileup with the only other option being to swerve onto a crowded sidewalk raises some significant liability questions.

While drivers are required to have auto insurance for such accidents, it becomes more difficult to determine who is at fault when it is not a person making decisions behind the wheel. Representatives from Google, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have stepped forward to assure consumers and the federal government that they will assume responsibility for any accidents that are caused by their vehicles. The CEO of Volvo has urged the federal government to increase testing permissions throughout the United States. Currently, only four states have allowed such testing.

The CEO of Volvo warned that the patchwork regulations found in Europe could cause confusion in the United States if testing is not increased and cohesive regulations are not adopted. Volvo has unveiled the Drive Me project, scheduled to begin in 2017, which will grant access to the manufacturer's XC90 SUV to 100 people in Gothenburg, Sweden.

From a T-bone accident to vehicle rollovers, autonomous cars pose numerous liability issues. Injured victims may benefit from contacting a personal injury attorney if determining the party or parties that should be held responsible is difficult to determine.

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