Advertisers are starting their holiday pushes early, especially toy retailers and diamond stores. One industry certainly not to be forgotten is the auto industry; most notably luxury automakers, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Cadillac. Aside from holiday offers, these automakers are featuring the latest in crash avoidance technologies, including lane integrity warning systems, automatic braking systems and proximity warning signals.
All of these offerings are precursors to what automakers ultimately covet: autonomous cars. Indeed, self-driving cars were something of science fiction a decade ago. But by the end of this decade, it is likely that driverless cars will be on the road near you. Between then and now, there will likely be additional advancements that will allow sophisticated measures of cruise control that will slow a car down when encountering slower traffic or evasive action when unexpected hazards arise.
But to catch up with various technological advances, the Arizona legislature will have to create a number of laws to deal with the potential liability that can come with autonomous vehicles. After all, these vehicles create a new aspect of law that has not been addressed before. For example, if a self-driving function fails and it leads to an accident, who can be held liable? Essentially, will the matter be treated as a products liability claim or a personal injury matter?
Hopefully these questions will be answered as driverless cars become a reality. In the meantime, human drivers must use reasonable care while behind the wheel. Should they fail to use such care, they could be held liable.