Why Might a Self-Driving Car Incident Occur?

self driving car

In this day in age, it is common for standard vehicles to have automated features such as backup cameras, cruise control, and emergency brake systems, among other things. Though, self-driving cars take this automatic to a whole other level. But even with such advanced technology, human error may still occur and ultimately cause a collision. Read on to discover exactly why a self-driving incident may occur and how a seasoned Houston, Texas car accident lawyer at White Personal Injury can come to your assistance.

What is the level of automation for a self-driving car?

The Society of Automotive Engineers has outlined levels of automation for different types of present and future self-driving cars. They are as follows:

  • Level 0: there is no automation and the driver must control everything.
  • Level 1: the driver must provide minimal assistance, such as power brakes or power steering.
  • Level 2: there is partial automation such as cruise control and the driver must remain in control.
  • Level 3: the car can operate without the driver’s control but they must still pay attention and take control when necessary.
  • Level 4: the car can operate without intervention by the driver but they must still take control when necessary.
  • Level 5: the car is fully automated and can operate without a driver, steering wheel, and gas pedal.

As of current, self-driving cars hover around a Level 3 or Level 4 in automation. And so, self-driving cars are not driverless, so drivers must still act responsibly behind the wheel.

Under what circumstances might a self-driving car incident occur?

To reiterate, a self-driving car’s advanced automation is intended to prevent the risk factor of human error. But even so, human error can still intervene and lead to an incident.

For one, a self-driving car manufacturer might make a human error by failing to detect faulty brakes or other mechanical parts before sending cars out to dealerships, or by failing to promptly react to malfunctions that arise after the cars enter the market.

Or, the driver behind the wheel of a self-driving car may make an error in judgment. This is because just because they are not fully operating the vehicle does not mean that they do not need to stay alert and intervene when necessary. So, a driver is considered negligent if they are intoxicated, sleeping, texting, eating, or otherwise distracted while behind the wheel.

So, if you are involved in a self-driving car incident that was due to no fault of your own, you must reach out to a competent Houston, Texas auto accident lawyer. It is difficult to place fault when it comes to self-driving cars, but we will take a deep dive into the circumstances of your case and find the appropriate party to hold accountable. So give White Personal Injury a call today.

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