Ohio Product Liability Attorney: Accidents & Injuries Lead to Autonomous Car Lawsuits
A motorcyclist in California recently sued GM stating that a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt, operating in autonomous mode with a backup driver behind the wheel, veered into his lane, striking him and knocking him to the ground in heavy traffic.
Of about 40 crashes involving self-driving vehicles reported to California regulators since January 2017, 33 involved GM-operated vehicles. After the motorcyclist filed one of several pending autonomous car lawsuits, a GM spokesperson released the following statement: “Safety is our primary focus when it comes to developing and testing our self-driving technology.”
General Motors has been testing autonomous vehicles in San Francisco since August 2017, allowing employees to employ the cars with a backup driver behind the wheel. The vehicles were involved in six collisions in September 2017. Testing vehicles are operated by GM and liable for any accidents and injuries. As more self-driving cars take to the streets, lawsuits are inevitable. Law experts expect self-driving tech companies to settle autonomous car lawsuits quickly if they believe their technology is at fault to keep public images clean for a profitable future.
Self-driving cars are outfitted with a system of cameras, radar and lidar sensors that allow them to detect their surroundings: traffic, pedestrians, bicyclists and other obstacles. Testing of autonomous technology has shown driverless cars to be operating safely, though it’s still a work in progress. This trend is very concerning for safety agencies. With autonomous systems like driverless cars, pilotless airplanes, and driverless trucks and trains on the horizon, accidents will continue to occur and lawsuits are likely.
Along with GM, Alphabet’s Waymo and Uber have been targeted in personal injury cases, and lawyers are reviewing a case involving car defects from Ford’s autonomous vehicle firm Argo which recently injured two people.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated and experienced Cincinnati product liability attorney, well-versed in the economic impact Ohio road injuries and deaths have on a victim’s life and family.
Uber and other transport-based companies like Waymo and Lyft started testing driverless cars a few years ago. Some state agencies promised to limit oversight as much as possible and companies began testing robotic vehicles on live roads. To some lawyers and safety agencies following the development, it came as no surprise when an autonomous car operated by Uber, which included an emergency backup driver behind the wheel, hit and killed a woman on an Arizona street. Arizona police are working with Uber, the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the investigation.
It was perhaps the first pedestrian death associated with self-driving cars, though experts have voiced their concerns with more accidents that may follow. The accident was a brutal reminder that self-driving auto technology is still experimental and must be regulated.
Despite the death, and other reported accidents, Uber, Lyft and other companies say autonomous cars will be safer than regular cars as they take distracted human driving out of the road safety equation. Meanwhile there is a strong pushback from concerned regulators, including Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, who said, “This tragic incident makes clear that autonomous vehicle technology has a long way to go before it is truly safe for the passengers, pedestrians, and drivers who share America’s roads.”
Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has been testing cars without a human in the driver’s seat. Researchers working with autonomous car technology have struggled with how to program the systems to adjust for erratic human driving behavior.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending investigators to examine “the vehicle’s interaction with the environment, other vehicles and vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.” In 2016, over 37,000 people died in traffic-related accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In 2016, a man driving his Tesla on Autopilot, a self-driving feature, died on a state highway in Florida when his car crashed into a semi truck.
Following a serious Cincinnati auto accident, victims should contact an experienced product liability lawyer to investigate. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to auto defects in Ohio, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding autonomous car lawsuits.