The rideshare startup Uber has announced that it’s been approved to test self-driving cars on public roads in California with a DMV-approved license. The news comes as a shock to many, as one of the company’s autonomous cars hit and killed a female pedestrian in Arizona in 2018.
Uber has acknowledge that their cars won’t be everywhere in the country all at once. Instead, they plan on first deploying their self-driving cars for specific purposes such as situations involving heavy traffic or unusual weather, or during concerts and sports games. They’ve also said they’ve improved the detection of pedestrians and cyclists.
While some technology enthusiasts may rejoice hearing this news, a recent study by a U.K. firm reported that only 6% of the 1,000 people they surveyed said they would trust a company like Uber or Lyft to produce a self-driving car.
Who Takes Responsibility in a Self-Driving Car Accident?
Many may be wondering how liability would be determined in a self-driving car accident that produces injuries. The situation is still unclear, especially since self-driving cars are not yet part of the new normal of our society. It’s safe to say that manufacturers would be held responsible for product liability if their cars had flaws in their hardware.
For cars powered by Uber and Lyft, the same policies they use for human drivers may apply – if the driver is working on the clock and you’re a passenger, you both may be covered by the company’s $1 million coverage, but if the driver is not currently working, their personal insurance will be held responsible. Uber and Lyft have made efforts to distance themselves from liability by making it clear that their drivers are not company employees.
Representing Individuals in Their Time of Need
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our lawyers are committed to fighting for the rights of individuals who are going through their darkest hours. Suffering from personal injuries is a deeply challenging time that is only made harder when you file a claim against a powerful corporation or entity that you believe you can’t win against. We’re here to bridge the gap and make sure you receive the justice you’re entitled to. We’re not afraid to hold guilty parties responsible for the damages they’ve inflicted.
Call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP if you’ve been injured in a car accident, which includes rideshare accidents, at (800) 462-7160, or contact us online. While accidents involving big startups like Uber or Lyft may seem daunting and complex, our lawyers have years of experience and can determine liability so you can receive the compensation you deserve.