Motorcyclist Taking GM to Court Over Self-Driving Bolt Crash

A motorcyclist is taking GM to court after a collision between himself and a self-driving Bolt. It's the first lawsuit involving a collision between an autonomous car and a non-autonomous driver (or rider).

The collision happened December 7 in San Francisco. But the details in the police report differ from the motorcyclist's claims.

Oscar Nilsson is suing General Motors, claiming that the autonomous Bolt changed lanes and then veered back into him. Nilsson was then knocked to the ground, according to the lawsuit.

GM's accident report, filed with the California DMV, states that the Bolt was travelling in the center of three lanes. It began to merge into the leftmost lane, but when the car ahead in the left began to brake the Bolt stopped the lane change and re-centered in the middle lane. Nilsson was lane splitting between the center and right lanes and moved into the center lane, striking the Bolt.

Nilsson was knocked to the ground and was taken to receive medical care for shoulder pain.

The San Francisco Police report blamed Nilsson for passing on the right, but his lawyer disputes that claim.

"I don’t know what a police officer can tell, after the fact,” lawyer Sergei Lemberg told The Mercury News. Lemberg told the paper that the Bolt's backup driver attempted to steer the car away, but wasn't able to do so in time.

The lawsuit, the first involving an autonomous car, raises the question of who is to blame when self-driving cars meet self-driving humans.

In this case, the vehicle was owned by GM, but once you've purchased an autonomous car, who to blame gets more unclear: the owner, the person in the vehicle, or the company that designed the software. It will likely prompt new insurance regulations to follow the updated rules coming to allow fully autonomous cars to drive on public roads.

General Motors has previously announced that it has applied to the US DOT to start building the first driver-free production vehicle.



Better call HAL 1/24/2018 5:44:19 PM