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Autonomous vehicles and the future of company liability

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2021 | transportation & logistics

There are no independently self-driving vehicles on U.S. roads yet. Many transportation companies hope to change that. The auto industry proclaims that self-driving vehicles offer many safety features. Meanwhile, these vehicles can also make business more efficient for the transportation industry.

Many companies have been testing self-driving trucks in California for a few years now. However, these tests indicate that the closer companies get to using autonomous vehicles, the more questions they must answer.

Business owners must take care introducing new tech

Introducing new technology can be exciting for the whole business. It can also give companies an edge in their industry. However, there are several issues business owners must consider when it comes to new technologies like self-driving vehicles.

For example:

  • How will it impact short-term and long-term operations?
  • How will company policies need to change?
  • How will companies revise training guidelines?
  • How will they evaluate cybersecurity measures?

It is always essential to assess the risks, even if there are several benefits. However, there is another critical matter companies must address as well: liability.

Who holds liability when autonomous vehicles crash?

Trucking companies already face a unique risk when it comes to auto accidents. If their drivers are involved in an accident, companies could end up dealing with the legal fallout. They must comply with state and federal regulations – and ensure their drivers do as well. Any violations or accusations of negligence could leave trucking companies facing serious legal penalties.

Autonomous vehicles will not erase that risk. In fact, transportation companies could face a higher risk if self-driving technology malfunctions or causes an accident.

Companies must prepare for the future

Even with extensive testing, there is no way to understand how self-driving technology will impact the future of the transportation industry just yet. However, industry leaders must take steps now to:

  1. Understand all the potential risks of implementing this technology
  2. Strategize how to manage liability and protect their business

In the business world, it pays to keep up with the latest technologies. It is a critical aspect of success. Even so, business owners must proceed with caution when adopting them.