Tech Report: Lawsuits May Stop Increased Rollout Of Self-Driving Car

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A self-driving car on the Google campus in Mountain View, September 25, 2012. (CBS)

A self-driving car on the Google campus in Mountain View, September 25, 2012. (CBS)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—Proponents of self-driving cars say the roads will be much safer once the cars are available. But, some are worried that the threats of lawsuits could put the brakes on their introduction.

Think about it. Now when there’s an accident the driver is usually at fault. But what happens with a self-driving car? Of course there have been cases when the driver can blame a faulty manufactured gas pedal, or something of that sort, but most of the time, one driver or the other or both are at fault.

With self-driving cars who do you blame? Do you blame the company that makes the car or the particular software that may or may not be at fault? Maybe it will be the independent app developer that’s at fault. There are so many variables and it looks like the driver is the least concerned to be involved.

There are three states where self-driving cars are legal (California, Nevada and Florida) and I’ve seen them myself driving along the 101 with the Google logo on them. As they grow in numbers there will be plenty of legal technicalities that need to be addressed.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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