The development and implementation of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) has made significant progress in technology for transportation. Autonomous vehicles can significantly decrease the amount of motor vehicle crashes caused by human errors. However, accidents that involve the use of AVs are still commonplace, causing questions regarding who is accountable for these accidents
[ 1 ]. The determination of who is responsible for the cause of an AV accident is an incredibly complex problem that requires legal as well as ethical factors. One of the difficulties in determining who is responsible when an accident occurs can be attributed to the inherent nature of the technology used in AV. The AV system uses a mix of cameras, sensors, and algorithms to function without the input of humans. But, these systems cannot be guaranteed to be flawless as accidents may occur due to technical glitches or programming errors or programming
[ 2 ]. In these instances, it is often difficult to determine if the cause of the accident was an error in the technology or a human mistake in its development or application. Another thing to consider is the role played by the human operator or the inability to do so in the event of an accident involving AV. Certain AVs are built to function without human input. However, others require the presence of a human operator who can monitor the system and assume control when needed. In the event of an accident involving totally autonomous automobiles, there might not be a person on the scene to accept responsibility for the incident. In such cases, the responsibility for the accident could be placed on the developer or manufacturer of the technology. Legal liability for accidents involving AV is a different issue 3
[ 3 ]. The liability of motor vehicle crashes is generally determined by the notion of “negligence.” Negligence involves an inability to take the proper care required in a given circumstance, which causes harm to the property or person of another. In cases which involve AVs, it is possible to determine negligence. be difficult due to the complexity of the technology and the absence of any legal precedents. Some experts in the field of law suggest that the liability for accidents involving AVs must be determined using the “strict liability” standard. Strict liability implies that a developer or manufacturer is accountable for any injury caused due to a defective product, regardless of their negligence in creating the product. This law could shift liability for accidents involving AV from drivers’ own shoulders to firms that design or manufacture the technology 4
[ 4 ]. Ethics are also a factor in determining who should the blame for AV-related accidents. The design and implementation of AVs pose questions regarding the safety and health of both the passengers and other road users. Some people believe it is essential that the security of the passengers should be the first priority, and others believe that AVs should consider the protection of road users from all sides, including cyclists and pedestrians. There are also fears about the potential for technology to make it harder for people to be with regards to accessibility to transportation. The AV technology is costly to create and implement and may only be available to those who are able to afford it. If AVs are constructed to focus on the safety and comfort of travelers, it could create more differences in accessibility to transportation. To address these ethical issues, Some have suggested that AVs should be developed with ethical considerations in mind. For instance, AVs could be programmed to ensure the safety of road users in general and not only the safety of drivers. Furthermore, AVs can be designed to ensure accessibility to transportation for everyone regardless of socioeconomic standing.
In the end, determining who should blame in AV accidents is an incredibly complex matter that requires ethical, legal, and technological factors. Since AVs continue to evolve and are increasingly employed, it will be crucial to create clear ethical and legal standards to determine who is responsible for accidents that involve the use of AVs. This could mean establishing new precedents in law and ethical frameworks that account for the distinctive nature of AV technology as well as its potential effects on transportation safety and accessibility. The ultimate goal is to ensure that AVs are constructed and used in a manner that enhances accessibility and safety for everyone on the road.
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