What Happens When Autonomous Cars Crash Into Each Other?

There has been some chatter hitting the headlines about a Google autonomous car cutting off an Audi driverless car. While many wild theories circulated, it seems that the scenario was a planned exercise by the companies to see how their wares interacted under real world conditions when cut off, even by another autonomous car. So what would happen if two autonomous vehicles crashed into each other?

Autonomous carsWhile all companies touting their autonomous technology want to highlight the positive points and reiterate that the other points are still being ironed out, it is entirely feasible that these types of vehicles can collide, though it is not quite likely. There are precious few driverless cars on the roads today, because not many have the legal permits required to do so. Google and Delphi Automotive have the jump on competitors, as they are not only already out on the roads testing, but they are interacting with each other for testing strategies to simulate real driving exposures.

During the incident in question, a modified driverless Lexus operated by Google cut off Delphi’s modified autonomous Audi, forcing it to abort changing lanes. It is impressive that the technology seems to be advancing so rapidly, with the autonomous cars able to seemingly “change their mind” mid-maneuver to avoid crashing.

Autonomous cars

Google is the big player in the game, as usual, with about 20 driverless vehicles on the public roads while Delphi Automotive is more narrowly focused with just 2 cars out testing. So…who would be ‘at fault’ if two driverless cars crashed? Would they replay the video and analyze the driving conditions and moves just prior to the incident? Will the bulk of pesky insurance claim specialists soon be eliminated by technology? Share your opinion on the matter below!

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