Autonomous/Self-Driving Cars In Las Vegas
Approximately, 92% of all car crashes are due to human error, such as fatigue, cell phone distraction, and or alcohol or drug use. For these reasons, many experts feel that self-driving cars will make car travel safer. While we are still a long way away from being able to use fully autonomous cars, there are many levels of driver assistance.
The Society of Automotive Engineers has classified different levels of autonomous or self-driving cars.
Level 0 means that the car has no autonomous features. Think of a classic car.
Level 1 cars can handle one task at a time, like automatic braking. If there is more than one system, such as assisted steering and speed control, they do not communicate with one another.
Level 2 cars have at least two autonomous functions, such as lane-centering technology and advanced cruise control.
Level 3 cars can handle “dynamic driving tasks” but may still need intervention.
Level 4 cars are officially driverless in certain environments. They can be programmed to drive to a predetermined destination, but the driver can intervene if he wishes.
Level 5 cars can operate entirely on their own without any driver’s presence. They can drive to a predetermined destination without any special roads. There are currently none of these cars operating legally in the United States.
Experts believe it will be approximately 12 years before fully autonomous cars are available in the U.S. Tesla has announced that they will offer Level 5 cars by the end of 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/07/09/elon-musk-tesla-will-have-level-5-self-driving-cars-this-year/#3a34faa42d1d
This legislation relating to self-driving cars and liability is an advancing field of law. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has left the regulations up to the individual states.
Nevada was the first state to authorize self-driving vehicles. The only section of the self-driving cars laws relating to liability is is NRS 482A.090, which states that a Manufacturer or developer not liable for certain damages. It says:
1. The original manufacturer of a motor vehicle that has been converted by a third party into an autonomous vehicle is not liable for damages to any person injured due to a defect caused by the conversion of the motor vehicle by the third party unless the defect that caused the injury was present in the vehicle as originally manufactured.
2. The original manufacturer or developer of an automated driving system that has been modified by an unauthorized third party is not liable for damages to any person injured due to a defect caused by the modification of the automated driving system by the third party unless the defect that caused the injury was present in the automated driving system as originally manufactured or developed.
Questions that remain to be decided are what type of liability the manufacturer will have. Is this a negligence claim or does it fall under product liability? Also, what do the police do when they encounter a driverless car, and how do they issue a citation?
Hinds Injury Law Las Vegas
600 S 8th St Suite 140, Las Vegas, NV 89101