Last December, a motorcyclist in San Francisco struck a Cruise AV, an automated vehicle manufactured by General Motors. Now, that motorcyclist has filed a lawsuit claiming negligence. This is one of the first lawsuits accusing a driver-less vehicle, and its manufacturer, of legal responsibility for a crash. The police report places the motorcyclist at fault, making this legal challenge an uphill climb.
According to the Report of Traffic Accident Involving an Autonomous Vehicle, the AV was driving on a three-lane one-way street in the center lane at low speed. It was merging into the left lane when the vehicle ahead suddenly slowed down. The AV abandoned it’s attempt to merge and instead returned to the center lane. At the same time, the lane-splitting motorcycle attempted to enter the center lane, bouncing off the AV. The police report shows that the motorcyclist was at fault for “attempting to overtake and pass another vehicle on the right under conditions that did not permit that movement in safety in violation of CVC 21755(a)”.
The automated vehicle was occupied by a test driver, but he did not have his hands on the wheel. Autonomous vehicles will be on the road soon, without test drivers, and it remains to be seen what will happen when driver-less vehicles become involved in crashes. Whatever the future of accident law, the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth will be prepared to pursue justice for injury victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call us at 888-517-9888 for a free accident consultation.