Between a rock and a hard place

08 Dec 2015

Driverless cars are set to hit our roads in the not too distant future, with the goal of making our lives easier and our roads safer.

There may be situations though where it is impossible for a driverless car to avoid an accident. Writing for Post, BLM partner Nick Rogers, examines where liability would lie in such situations.

“As with any assessment of liability, a root-cause analysis is required: how did the vehicle come to be in that unenviable position in the first place? Given the technology involved, it is likely to have been an extreme set of circumstances. Possibilities might include: a precipitating mechanical problem with the vehicle itself; a loss of control by another (adjacent) automated vehicle; two pedestrians simultaneously running in front of the car but in opposite directions; two or more vehicles converging simultaneously from various directions.

“In each case, the liability position does not appear to be greatly different from now. The fact that the automated vehicle has had to make a choice between outcome A and outcome B is one of its functions, triggered by a preceding event to which liability can be attached.”

You can read Nick’s article in full on Post’s website.

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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to customers of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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