The Race for the First Driverless Car

The Race for The Driverless Car

There’s been an extensive amount of research into developing the technology between autonomous vehicles. Still, now we are witnessing an increased interest from car manufacturers aiming to commercialize such vehicles.

The technology has been around for several years and has mostly been researched and developed by Universities and other technical institutions. The development has now shifted from academic and technology researchers to car manufacturers such as Nissan, Volvo, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and others who are looking to commercialize driverless cars over the next decade. Google has also been involved in the development and testing of driverless cars.

One of the main concerns behind such vehicles is the legal and liability issues that arise in an accident. Who is responsible? The passenger? Or the car manufacturer? This is a legal concern that will have a major impact on the commercialization, and needless to say, car insurance companies, will be a topic that will require a lot of refining. Nevada is actually the first state which has approved driverless cars on public roads and will have a pivotal effect in the testing and progression of using such vehicles.

The following infographic takes a look at the leaders in driverless car manufacturing and who will be the one that is most likely to start mass production. It also displays noticeable technology used, such as six different types of radars, sensors, and cameras. Another feature included in this infographic is headshots and quotes from the car manufacturers’ heads of research and development.

So, who will when the race for the driverless car?

The Race for the First Driverless Car

  1. Who will be liable for a driverless car accident?

    We’ve been told that Mercedes is going to sell a driverless car in 2013. But the car will be driverless for 10 seconds i.e. drivers will be allowed to have their hand off the steering wheel for a maximum of 10 seconds. As far as I read, the driver will still be liable if anything bad happens during the time he has his hands off the wheel.

    For the following years, we can reasonably anticipate that these 10 seconds will become 20 then 30 seconds and even a minute. From here let’s ask a series of questions:
    The biggest one being: “What is the limit from where drivers having an accident, when his car is in automated mode, will be able to attack the car manufacturer?”.
    * Who will decide what the limit is?
    – car manufacturers, government or insurers?

    * How do we prove that the accident happened while the car was in driverless mode?
    – Do driverless cars need some airplane like black boxes?

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