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 alcohol or drug use. For these reasons, many experts believe 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: 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 specific environments, and they can be programmed to drive to a predetermined destination, but the driver can intervene if he wishes.
Level 5 cars can operate independently without any driver’s presence and can drive to a predetermined destination without any special roads. Currently, none of these cars operate 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 laws of the self-driving car relating to liability is NRS 482A.090, which states that a developer or manufacturer is not responsible for specific damages. It says:
- The original manufacturer of a motor vehicle that a third party has converted 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.
- A person hurt by an automated driving system flaw that an unapproved third party modified is not entitled to compensation from the automated driving system’s original developer or manufacturer unless the flaw was present when the automated driving system was created or manufactured in the first place.
The type of liability the manufacturer will have, whether a negligence claim or product liability, remains to be decided. In addition, it is still being determined what actions the police will take when encountering a driverless car and how they will issue a citation.
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