Autonomous vehicle and automated driving technology is advancing rapidly, as evidenced by the increased number of vehicles on the road with these capabilities. More than 50 companies are testing vehicles with automated driving technology that can operate without interaction from the driver, including Tesla vehicles that have the hardware needed for limited or full self-driving under certain conditions. While the artificial intelligence of autonomous vehicles provides enhanced safety features for drivers, accidents will continue to happen as a result of driver error, vehicle error, or both.
Although some states have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles, consistent laws and regulations governing them are lacking. When litigating cases involving autonomous vehicle accidents, lawyers should be prepared to assess who, or what, is liable, and manage discovery of the plethora of electronic information that autonomous vehicles generate.
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