As our world hurdles closer and closer to self-driving cars on a widely-available scale, the prospect of car accidents that involve one or multiple self-driving vehicles needs to be addressed. Laws and liability that give us the ability to grasp fault in a self-driving car accident are critical.
But self-driving cars are just one part of the evolving motor vehicle landscape. Ridesharing services have completely altered how our roads function. When Uber or Lyft vehicles get involved in a car accident, what are victims to do? And what about the company’s role in the vehicles they endorse out on the road? Do they not share some culpability?
The ride-sharing companies have long maintained that they are simply a platform to link riders with drivers and that they are not liable for the vehicles out on the road or the accidents that happen. But there are clear signs that aren’t true.
Take, for example, Uber’s expansion into Singapore, Malaysia. That expansion required Uber to purchase vehicles on behalf of their drivers, who would then be charged to use the vehicles. As it turns out, Uber purchased a batch of defective Honda Vezels in order to accommodate these drivers in Singapore.
Ridesharing services will increasingly be on the legal hook for accidents as the world shifts to self-driving vehicles. We need to grapple with this issue as soon as possible to save lives and keep our roads safe.