Do autonomous vehicles really pose a liability headache?

The general consensus is that autonomous vehicles present serious challenges to litigators. That may not always be the case, learns Freddie Holmes

Human-driven cars crash with worryingly high frequency, and that is unlikely to change in the near future. The idea is that autonomous driving technology, along with driver assistance features in the interim, will eventually eliminate collisions that result from human error. That would prevent 94% of crashes, based on now well-publicised research from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

However, it would be naïve to assume that autonomous vehicles will go their entire life cycle without a fender bender of some kind. Accidents happen, and natural events can create unexpected situations. What happens if a boulder falls off a cliff and the car cannot veer out of the way in time—and is it the manufacturer, the passenger, or any other relevant party that has to pay the price?…

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