Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by a Self-Driving Car?

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Even though Masdar City in Abu Dhabi has launched a autonomous shuttle vehicle, the country is still struggling with key regulations regarding autonomous vehicles. If a driverless car is roaming around new or Dubai used cars and causes an accident, who would be responsible for it?

The main question lies in accountability, according to transport regulatory authorities.

The unsolved riddle: Whose fault is it?

“Who will be liable in case of an accident or death caused by a driverless vehicle – the manufacturer or the vehicle operator [or anybody else involved in the chain]? The regulators across the globe are still discussing to find the answer to formulate a legal framework,” said the acting executive director of the Surface Transport Sector of Abu Dhabi, Ebrahim Sarhan Al Hamoudi.

There are however, certain pros and cons of a self-driving car as they do have the potential to reduce fatalities and road accidents, according to Department of transport (DOT) in Abu Dhabi. At the moment, majority of the accidents are caused by human errors.

Autonomous technology faces roadblocks

Currently, very few vehicles offer autonomous technology and none have received the green signal from regulators for permission to travel on public roads. The autonomous  shuttle launched in Masdar, Abu Dhabi is capable of housing 12 passengers and seven more vehicles will be added to the fleet in the coming year. So, you might see one traversing among Dubai used cars in Abu Dhabi!

According to DOT officials, ensuring the safety of pedestrians is another approval issue regarding autonomous technology.

“The technology has not matured enough to be adopted by us. However, global forecasts suggest that sound technologies will be available by 2025. Masdar will be leading to bring such technologies here,” Al Hamoudi said.

New tech brings new worries

The concerns of the DOT officials regarding autonomous technology are quite understandable. While it is true that self-driving cars don’t get angry, drunk or irritated, at the same they can’t react to precarious or uncertain situations with the same skill that a careful and attentive human driver might. In addition, autonomous technologies also do not have the foresight to avoid potential risky accidents as they drive from “moment-to-moment” instead of “thinking” of possibly changing events down the road.

An automated system has a restricted understanding of the world which means that they can’t evaluate a situation the way a human would. Realistically, a machine can hardly be specifically programmed to handle every possible set of events. We are a bit skeptical on that!

As a result of the potential perils, comparisons between humans and autonomous vehicles need to be drawn carefully. Practically speaking, “human-driven” cars are likely to remain on the road for many years to come. How will self-driving cars and human-driven cars mix together? And more concerningly, who will be responsible for a collision between them?

To objectively evaluate the promise of autonomous cars in reducing the number of road accidents, it is important to make certain that the data presented provides an accurate comparison. Choosing to replace humans or Dubai used cars with automated machinery is more nuanced, complexed and a much bigger deal than just a casual, one-for-one swap. Such decision have to made carefully.

Until we conclude this strangely dramatic tech debate about “humans vs. machines”, you can always buy new or Dubai used cars at CarSwitch.com! Get ready for switching with a hassle-free buying and selling experience!