“Self-driving cars can take much of the danger out of driving, but they also present us with new problems to solve. So what needs to be figured out before the autonomous vehicle technology gets the green light?” – Rob Banino
It is no secret that we have moved from the Third Industrial Revolution into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The journal article titled “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Shaping a New Era” by Thomas Philbeck and Nicholas Davis highlights the fact that the Fourth Industrial Revolution “has been used to frame and analyze the impact of emerging technologies on nearly the entire gamut of human development in the early 21st century, from evolving social norms and national political attitudes to economic development and international relations.”
In other words, this phase of the overall term “The Industrial Revolution” is considered a primary driver of lifestyle changes as a consequence of rapidly developing technological advances.
Furthermore, the fundamental aspects of this period of rapid transformation are characterized by innovations and advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, Big Data, Business Intelligence and Predictive analytics, self-driving vehicles, and genetic modifications.
Self-driving or autonomous cars
Succinctly stated, a self-driving vehicle is also known as a driverless car. It is essentially a “vehicle that can guide itself without human conduction.” And, based on technological developments, it is touted to be the transport of the future.
Autonomous vehicles have components such as GPS systems, sensors that measure the distance between the car and other objects while driving on the road, and augmented reality technologies that are used to display information to the occupants of the vehicle while driving.
Self-driving cars and vehicle accidents
It is entirely possible for, and highly probable that an autonomous car ends up in a motor vehicle accident, especially if it is not the cause of the accident. Business Insider notes that people or pedestrians seem to be responsible for over 90% of the accidents involving a self-driving car. And, only 1.5% of the vehicle crashes between an autonomous vehicle and another car was the autonomous vehicle’s fault.
The salient point that must be noted is that self-driving cars can be involved in an accident between a itself and another car or itself and a pedestrian. And, there will more than likely be physical injuries like whiplash and broken limbs as a consequence of these accidents.
Therefore, the question that begs is: “What do you do if you are involved in a crash between an autonomous vehicle and a third-party? Are there any differences between being caught in an autonomous vehicle accident and a “normal” car accident?
At this juncture, it is vital to note that self-driving vehicles are still in the testing phase, and they are not yet deployed on the public roads as a mode of passenger transport. Also, there should be no difference the post-accident processes
Therefore, by way of answering these questions, here are several tips to help you navigate your way around an accident with a self-driving car.
Collect the other drivers’ details
Even though the autonomous car will not have an active driver, there will be at least one person in the car. Therefore, it is important to collect the responsible party’s contact details, the vehicle’s licence plate number, a copy of the driver’s licence, and the vehicle insurance details.
Furthermore, it is vital to collect the contact details of any witnesses to the accident. You will need these details in case of a contested insurance claim.
Hire a legal expert
The Tort, or Personal Injury, law can be a nightmare for the uninitiated, inexperienced person to cope with, especially if there are injuries involved. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult a vehicle accident specialist, who will manage the filing of insurance claims as well as the personal injury lawsuit.
As the quotation mentioned above by Rob Banino notes, there are several advantages to the autonomous vehicle technology. Succinctly stated, it takes most of the decision-making away from the driver of a non-autonomous vehicle. Thus, in theory, the roads should be safer for the driver, pedestrian, and passenger.
However, as with all technologies, no matter how good they are, they have still been developed by human engineers. Therefore, because people are not perfect and will never be, there will always be the risk of errors. Thus, it is essential to be prepared to deal with the unfortunate eventuality of a motor vehicle accident.