Autonomous Vehicles Measure Advances Despite Liability Questions

Nov 9, 2017

Credit Tysto via wikimedia commons

The Florida House is advancing an autonomous vehicles measure—laying down the rules of the road for driverless cars.  But there are questions about accountability after an accident.

Rep. Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) says more than 90 percent of fatal crashes in the U.S. last year were the result of human error, and his autonomous vehicles measure could help save lives.  

But when Rep. Barbara Watson (D-Miami Gardens) asks about liability after a crash things get murky.

“It’s not necessarily a manufacturer’s defect,” Watson explains to Fischer, “because I hear you qualify your answer by using that language.” 

“We can have accidents without being an actual defect—at that point who is liable?”

“I think it depends on the situation,” Fischer replies.

A handful of lawmakers expressed similar reservations, but Watson and every other member on the House panel voted in favor of the measure.