General Question

tacres's avatar

If you collide with someone while your car is parking itself who is responsible?

Asked by tacres (549 points ) May 10th, 2012

Personally I think vehicles already do way to many annoying things for us but I am curious if you have a vehicle that parallel parks itself & it backs into another car who is responsible? I mean obviously you as the driver are responsible but it would make an interesting test case against a manufacturer.

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7 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

You are. And chances are the manufacturers AGB already excluded any liability for damages resulting from the use of the device, so the probability of a successful lawsuit are slim at best.

sinscriven's avatar

It’s called parking assist for that reason. There is no guarantee that it will do it for you, and do it correctly. You still are fully responsible for what happens.

Ron_C's avatar

There may be a robot conspiracy to crash cars but barring that you are responsible, I would ask for warranty service but there is no way that the manufacturer is going to cover a crash.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
MollyMcGuire's avatar

You would be liable just as if you were doing it manually. I can’t imagine owning a car that talks to you and parks for you. All of that would stay turned off or disconnected. I hope that when I need a new car I can find a basic car that runs on gasoline, has a standard transmission, and hand-crank windows.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
jax1311's avatar

I think how the courts handle this issue when it ends up in litigation will have a significant impact on the future of car development. I recently read an article in which google was claiming that its “self-driving car” would be commercially available in less than 10 years, and based on the success that their test cars are currently having, that doesn’t seem too far fetched.

However, one of the keys to determining whether mass market adoption of such a revolutionary technology is feasible will understanding how that tech will affect car manufacturers’ liability. If the courts hold that the manufacturer is liable for damage done by a car using park assist tech, then I would think the manufacturer would be pretty hesitant to adopt tech (such as self-driving cars) that would create liability risks that are exponentially higher than the potential park-assist liability.

Personally, I think that it would depend on the cause of the accident. In other words, if it could in any way be attributed to driver error, then it likely would be. However, if the accident is the result of a computer malfunction, then the manufacturer would likely be liable. It all depends on the facts of the case.

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