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Tesla autonomic car gets into accident, draws concerns

Each year, technology becomes more advanced. Now, there are self-driving cars. While they're still being tested, these vehicles could provide safer alternatives to driving, since machines could technically eliminate human error.

Unfortunately, a recent Tesla Model S accident has people wondering if these vehicles can really help prevent accidents without the ability to make decisions the way a human driver can. In the accident reported to the news, an 18-wheeler turned left in front of the Tesla. The car was on autopilot at the time, and it failed to apply the brakes to avoid the 18-wheeler.

The problem was that the vehicle and the human driver inside both failed to identify the tractor-trailer against the sky. The tractor-trailer was white, and the sky was bright at the time.

Autopilot is disabled in vehicles sold to the public and drivers are told that the technology is new and only in the testing phase. So far, there have been only two Tesla autopilot-related accidents.

So far, there are only six states that allow self-driving vehicles; Washington, D.C. does as well. Another 16 have laws in place to govern how they can be used. The real question is how these vehicles will affect the driver's insurance. Who is responsible if the vehicle doesn't recognize brake lights, like in the crash that happened recently? Should it be the manufacturer or driver, even though the driver wasn't in control? How much attention should a driver really need to pay?

As these vehicles become more popular, legislation and other factors will weigh in and determine how widespread their use becomes. If you're in an accident with one of these vehicles, it's important to report it and seek help with your case, so you can be compensated by the right party.

Source: Guardian Liberty Voice, "Tesla Accident Highlights Issues With Self-Driving Cars and Insurance," Dyanne Weiss, July 09, 2016

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