Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 2014

Will Lawyers Kill the Driverless Car?

Megan McArdle: “Driverless cars will be safer and quieter… But I’m still worried about the future of driverless cars, not because they’re technically impossible, but because the liability possibilities are enormous… And even if the overall number of accidents drops, the number of accidents where the automaker is perceived to be at fault will approach 100 percent. After all, they’re the ones who designed or installed the software that made the decision.”

“Here’s one way that we could fix this: Do a radical overhaul of our liability system. In fact, we’d…replace it with a no-fault accident insurance system like New Zealand’s. It’s mandatory, but it’s ‘true insurance’ — which is to say, it’s paid for entirely by user fees. If you have an accident, the system doesn’t try to assign fault; it just pays you off, according to a schedule of damages.”

  • NorthboroughDan

    Given the high levels of distracted driving (texting, etc.) the crossover where driverless cars are safer will occur soon, if it hasn’t occurred already. So, here’s another question; do you let the road-rage lunatics continue to weave in and out of traffic, most of which may be driverless? Liability is a big issue. Integration of driveless and driver traffic is another biggie.

  • Robbissimo

    The market will demand these cars driven by an aging population that needs the freedom of liability from their own disabilities.

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