California axes self-driving car rule limiting liability for crashes

IRL/GB

California axes self-driving car rule limiting liability for crashes

California axes self-driving car rule limiting liability for crashes

Sub-par maintenance is not going to let car manufacturers off the hook and as such, California is happy to tweak the rules just a bit to get more self-driving cars on the road.

Even with some of the rules regarding self-driving cars being relaxed, there will still be limits. The state’s DMV has eliminated a planned rule which was originally suggested by GM (General Motors) that would have let companies avoid liability for an autonomous vehicle crash if the machine hadn’t been maintained to manufacturer specs.

In other words, if the rules had not been changed, car manufacturers could have been let off the hook if your car’s sensors were muddy, even if an accident was really due to bad code.

This is akin to insurance companies looking for any excuse not to pay out on a premium, looking for every excuse under the sun to not pay.

The DMV ditched the idea after reading comments objecting to the potential rule. The comment period ends December 15th, and the completed regulations should take effect sometime in early 2018.

California’s change of heart doesn’t amount to a sudden crackdown on self-driving cars, but it does reflect an evolving approach where it’s not quite so willing to give brands everything they want.

This might also help settle the ongoing questions about liability in driverless car crashes. If owners are less likely to be blamed for accidents, automakers may be more cautious with development in order to avoid paying for costly mistakes.

IRL/GB


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