Volvo, a car maker known for its dedication to making safe cars, has just announced that it would accept full liability if one of its driverless cars is to blame in an auto accident.
To many experts, this is groundbreaking.
Marking one of the first times an automaker makes that vow, Volvo, along with Google and Mercedes-Benz could be setting the rules for how other automakers and even the government will organize around the issue of liability.
According to the Swedish company, Volvo executives are already trying to expedite driverless car regulation in the country. The company claims that the current legal framework makes it hard for companies to develop their driverless cars. The uncertainty of how to prepare for what the government experts makes it difficult for engineers and designers to work expediently.
According to Volvo Cars’ president, the US is a great country for the autonomous car revolution. However, the country may be losing its edge mostly because of the regulatory mess that Volvo is trying to avoid.
Due to the fact that states have different approaches to the technology, car makers and tech companies are unable to roll out their technology. Developing systems just for one state is not in the cards for these companies, especially because that could make production particularly expensive. To Volvo, regulation should be uniform, so more companies are able to meed important safety standards without breaking the rules in certain areas because certain states do not allow self-driving vehicles to roam on their state roads.
At the time, only California and Nevada allow companies to test the technology.
While many agree that self-driving technology will never be perfect, many believe that the autonomous system could be responsible for a boost in auto and road safety across the country.
In order to address the tough questions regarding accident liability, Volvo and other companies decided to step up. To them, it’s important that consumers know they are safe in case an accident happens while the vehicle is being operated by the system. That could give drivers a better sense of security, and they may end up warming up to the technology.
By removing uncertainty, some experts say, drivers would feel safe that they wouldn’t be blamed in case an accident is caused by the driverless tech.
While companies like Tesla believe that America’s roads could be populated by the self-driving cars by the end of the decade, many think that it’s too soon. Resolving the legal issue first could help companies to focus on developing functional autonomous cars more efficiently and quickly.