Driverless car problems are outpacing liability laws
By Jenna Greene-Reuters
For years, lawyers and scholars have been speculating about what would happen when a fully self-driving car – one tooling around with no human being in the front seat – seriously injured someone.
After a robotaxi by General Motors’ Cruise unit hit and dragged a pedestrian earlier this fall in San Francisco, that future is now. But is our legal system ready to offer just resolution of auto injury claims when one or both of the parties is a robot?
According to the California regulators, a person driving a Nissan hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk on one on of the city’s main thoroughfares, Market Street. The impact propelled the woman into the path of the driverless Cruise vehicle, which struck her as well.
“It’s a brave new frontier,” said plaintiffs lawyer Jonathan Michaels, who has litigated cases against almost every major automaker, including Tesla in a recent autopilot crash lawsuit. “It’s so new that there’s no rulebook.”