Authored By: Candace Whitman
The recent self-driving car fatality in Tempe, Arizona is leaving many people worried about the safety of self-driving cars and the lack of power victims of self-driving car accidents may have to pursue justice.
Matt McFarland of CNN Tech reports that the AV Start Act that is currently under consideration in the Senate “does not prohibit forced arbitration between autonomous vehicle manufacturers and consumers.”
This means that someone who is injured while riding in a self-driving vehicle would not be able to sue the manufacturer or take part in a class-action law suit, if they sign a terms of service agreement that includes forced arbitration.
This loss of power would be harmful not only to the victim but the public as well because forced arbitration would give self-driving car companies the ability to more easily keep information about accidents and vehicle defects hidden from the public.
McFarland states that “ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft already include forced arbitration in their terms of service with passengers. Consumers will likely first experience self-driving technology in a similar format, by requesting a ride through a smartphone app.”
It is important that these companies that are dealing with self-driving cars are held accountable for the safety of their vehicles and are not allowed to let consumers suffer for the sake of money and innovation.
Photo Credit: Phanuwat Nandee