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Self-driving cars: Future predictions and thoughts on liability

Cars without drivers and cars that drive all by themselves are definitely here to stay. A statistical analysis company, IHS Automotive, recently predicted that 21 million driverless cars would be sold in 2035. This is almost double the company's previous figures from a year and a half ago.

In fact, United States will lead the way into the world of driverless cars, says IHS. It is believed that by 2020, several thousand driverless vehicles will be on American roadways. By 2035, the United States should have around 4.5 million driverless cars on the road. Furthermore, IHS believes that China will be the volume leader when it comes to this new technology, and will have over 5.7 million driverless cars by 2020. Coming in third will be Europe, which is expected to have approximately 4.5 million driverless cars at that time.

Driverless cars will no doubt face challenges related to software reliability and cyber security in the future. However, IHS believes that these kinds of challenges will be quickly ironed out over time.

Nevertheless, from a personal injury law perspective, the big question on everyone's minds will relate to car accident liability. If an autonomous car crashes into another vehicle and an injury occurs, whose fault will it be? At this time, the fault would likely be on the driver of the vehicle in question, since he or she should be in complete control of his or her car at all times. Nevertheless, could the software developer, the car manufacturer or another party also be to blame for the crash?

Source: Mashable, "21 million driverless cars could be on the road by 2035, report says," Nick Jaynes, June 09, 2016

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