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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Boring question #38: Your self-parking car causes and accident, who takes the blame?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) June 30th, 2011

You have a self-parking vehicle, but for some reason instead of parking itself, it bashes another vehicle causing visible damage, who takes the ding, you, the auto maker, or is just seen as an act of nature? Technically, you were in the car but not driving it, the computer was. The computer programmed by the automaker, ands supposing smart enough to know if it can park in the space or not. The mere fact you were behind the wheel, whether or not you were actually steering the car put the accident on you? To get out of it would you have to prove the parking system was faulty?

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12 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

You just know this is going to happen eventually. Who takes the blame? Nobody. Who gets sued? That’s easy. The party with the deepest pockets. Who benefits? The lawyers, obviously.

I’ll bet there are firms out there already, sitting on all the papers, casework and research, like vultures on a desert rock, waiting for the inevitable slip-up.

Mamradpivo's avatar

You will be responsible for the vehicle under your control/authority. If you’re in the driver’s seat, it’s your fault.
Would a police officer not ticket you because your cruise control thought you were going the speed limit?
An equipment malfunction is still your fault, and you can expect your insurance company to have to pay out.

marinelife's avatar

You, the driver, do. You are still in control of the car.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Wow…great question. I’ve seen these cars advertised and imagined how great it would be to own one. Never considered the consequences of what might happen if the auto park screwed up.

I’d have to agree with the previous jellies. Your car, your responsibility. I don’t know law or anything, but it seems reasonable. Car owners are held responsible for making sure the vehicle functions safely. Say, for instance, your brakes suddenly fail and you hit another car. Wasn’t your fault, but you and/or your insurance company will most likely be held liable.

Whether the auto manufacturer will carry any responsibility remains to be seen, but the driver will most certainly get hit first.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Wait! Are you seriously thinking that people would admit their mistake and take responsibility for their own actions?
Let’s keep an eye on this Q and see how long it takes before someone sues the car company.

erichw1504's avatar

I thought about this the other day. Gets me thinking about unmanned military aircraft, what if one of them fails and accidentally kills innocent people? Who’s to blame now?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

The owner of the car.Even if the car is a careless fool ;)

wundayatta's avatar

The car owner or the car operator at the time the car did the damage. I wonder if these things require spaces to be a certain size, or if they can manage to get into the too small spaces.

SpatzieLover's avatar

In my state, the human sitting in the driver’s seat of the operating vehicle is always at fault. It would be difficult here to have a jury find liability with anyone (or thing) else.

Ron_C's avatar

You are responsible for the operation of your vehicle. It is a sad state of affairs when we are forced to wonder when the lawyers are going to step in.

woodcutter's avatar

I have a feeling this magic feature will disappear someday because of these little bumps. Why can’t drivers just park right? or why do they need a warning right before they are about to rear end something or when they cross over the center line. These cars scare me.

dabbler's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille is correct, the owner of the car owns the liability for its operation.

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