Who will take the blame for autonomous vehicle crashes?

Liability frameworks are taking shape to determine who is at fault in the event of a crash. Access to vehicle data will bring further clarity, writes Freddie Holmes

Autonomous driving raises difficult questions around who is at fault in the event of a crash: the human driver, or a computer. With various levels of automation in development and on the road, it is a challenging time for the automotive industry, insurers and legislators.

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will share the road with members of the public, and the risk of a collision is never zero. As such, they cannot feasibly be commercialised outside of trial conditions until there is a framework for liability. The challenge is in understanding whether a particular system was engaged under the right circumstances, whether a crash resulted from a system error or if a myriad of other factors are in play.

The consequences of an AV crash have not always been clear, potentially slowing progress
Special report: Autonomous vehicle regulation

To date, investigators have struggled to determine the root cause of an AV crash with absolute certainty, but efforts to make vehicle data more accessible could change things. Legal frameworks are also being reshaped to address the fact that control of the vehicle is now shared, and insurers are preparing for a day where drivers become riders.

Self-driving vs driver assistance

The outcome of a collision could vary depending

It’s time to log in (or subscribe).

Not a member? Subscribe now and let us help you understand the future of mobility.

Monthly Online Magazine
£195
1 user
12-month subscription (Annual rebill)
Access to Automotive World Magazine, our must-read monthly online publication
Mag + Articles + Special Reports
£495
1 user
12-month subscription (Annual rebill)
Access to Automotive World Magazine plus all articles and more than 40 special reports per year
All Content
Single-User License
£2,250
1 user
12-month subscription (Annual rebill)
Free tickets to Automotive World events
Unlimited online access to all content, including Automotive World magazine, articles, special reports, data and research
All Content
Team License
£3,950
Up to 5 users
12-month subscription (Annual rebill)
Free tickets to Automotive World events
Unlimited online access to all content, including Automotive World magazine, articles, special reports, data and research
All Content
Company-Wide License

Contact us for pricing

Unlimited users
12-month subscription
Free tickets to Automotive World events
Unlimited online access to all content, including Automotive World magazine, articles, special reports, data and research

Welcome back , to continue browsing the site, please click here