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Eversheds comment: Carmakers need a careful eye on road over automation

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    Commenting on what appears to be the first fatality involving a (nearly) self-driving car, Peter Shervington, product liability expert at Eversheds, says

    “This tragic case underlines the challenges associated with a brave new world of automated driving technology. Whilst the precise cause of the accident in this case remains unclear, car makers and regulators are still getting to grips with an array of complex questions and incidents like this can be seen as a trailer for the challenging legal conundrums to come.

    Many questions remain, not least where does the responsibility of the driver stop and that of the software maker and/or car manufacturer begin, and how will that risk be managed through insurance?

    Cars are becoming hugely complex, with myriad overlapping systems interacting with each other and the world outside. This presents significant challenges for design teams and investigators seeking to identify a root cause. Equally, as we move into the brave new world of driverless cars, the adequacy, clarity and simplicity of warnings and instructions will also come under greater scrutiny. There is much to be gained from vehicle automation but carmakers will need to keep a careful eye on the road.”


    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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