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The Department for Transport recently published a review dealing with the testing of driverless cars on UK roads. We are delighted to publish an interview by journalist Alex Heshmaty with Matthew Claxson, senior personal injury lawyer at Slater and Gordon, taking a look at the various legal issues surrounding this developing area.
The government from February 2015 started a trial in Greenwich of a limited number of driverless cars that, if successful, will be rolled out to Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes.
This could herald the advent of a new age—a cleaner mode of travel, a reduction in congestion and improved road safety by reducing collisions caused by driver error.
But these technological advancements are being made at what sacrifice? Might the sheer sight of driverless cars be enough of a distraction to cause accidents?
Where, you might ask, will you see these driverless cars? You might expect driverless cars to be sharing the road with you. However, legislation has yet to be passed to permit the driverless car on the road. So, at present, they will use pavements. Many a pedestrian grumbles presently about having to share their pavement with joggers, cyclists and mobility scooters so how will the driverless car be welcomed?
We are told that the driverless car will simply require someone to sit in the driver’s seat but not be required either to steer or use the pedals as the computer navigates you from A to B. A sophisticated radar style system with cameras will guide the driverless car through obstacles. What happens though if the technology fails? Who is then liable for any resulting injury or loss to an innocent party?
Would the liable party be the person sitting in the driver’s seat or the car’s m
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