University of Arizona Law Journal of Emerging Technologies, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2018
Roger Williams University, School of Law, Students; University of Arizona – Arizona Journal of Emerging Technology
Date Written: October 31, 2018
Self-driving cars could make the roads a lot safer for our friends, our families, and ourselves. They could free up time we would have been driving to do other things. But, before the technology is perfected, car accidents will hinder the progress. Products liability standards will have a difficult time compensating the injured: the technology will be the best available for its time, even though not safe enough. Negligence, the test used for traditional car accidents, is not compatible either, because the operating system is driving, not a distracted driver.
Therefore, during the period of trial and error, I propose a federally mandated insurance policy to indemnify injured passengers and third parties on a no fault system, so long as they can prove involvement in a self-driving car accident. Self-driving car companies will fund this policy. Structured as a compromise, like workers’ compensation, those companies will have to pay a lower amount of damages per injury, only the plaintiff’s economic damages. The policy will help avoid the litigation process, guarantee that every injured person gets something, and facilitate the long term benefits of a likely usefully technology.
Keywords: Autonomous Vehicles, Artificial Intelligence, Self-Driving Cars, Self-Driving, Products Liability, Design Defect, Negligence, Insurance, Automobile Insurance, Preemption, Workers’ Compensation