When a person is not following the rules of the road and causes an incident, that person usually is at fault. But what about if the car causes the wreck? Tesla is on the cutting edge of technology with the electric cars they manufacture. Those electric cars also come with an autopilot function. So who is at fault with an autopilot wreck?
On July 22, 2016 a wreck occurred with a Tesla Model X SUV in Montana. The cause of the wreck is debated. Tesla is disclaiming all fault and pointing their finger at the driver based on the logs from the car that allegedly show the car alerting the driver to take control of the vehicle. The driver on the other hand claims the car never alerted him and it veered into a barrier post, and didn’t slow down and hit 12 other posts before he was able to stop the car.
Before Tesla’s autopilot and a few other manufactures integrating an assisted driving capability, the driver would be at fault. From the story above, the driver is claiming a malfunction of the vehicle caused the collision and claiming no negligence on his part. How will the law handle the fact that the car can control the steering wheel? Is the public supposed to believe the “logs” from the car manufacturer when the car manufacturer could be sued for causing the wreck? Or is the public to believe the driver who may be making excuses for not following the rules of the road? Most likely it will be a case by case determination of whether the driver or the car caused the wreck.
Questions like this and many others like it are quickly arising and will need to be answered. However, people need to know their rights when in an auto collision that may have been caused by the vehicle. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car wreck, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.