Volvo Takes Responsibility when Their Driverless Cars Get into an Accident

For a few years now, tech enthusiasts and the press have been talking about this new industry of driverless cars. Even though things have moved along quite well, there are still a few issues that need to be addressed.

While technological matters can and will be resolved through research and testing, the questions that involve regulations are on everyone’s lips and they don’t seem to receive any answers. It appears that regulations are way more complicated to establish than actually designing and manufacturing a self-driving car.

And the thing is, if we don’t see any clear regulations, then we won’t be seeing driverless cars on the streets any time soon. And let’s face it: It would be a shame to have them ready for people to buy, but forbidden from being driven on the public streets.

The USA government has not taken any stand so far regarding this issue

If we think about it, it kind of makes sense that the government was not able to make any decision regarding who takes the responsibility when a self-driving car is involved in an accident.

This is the first time that they are actually facing such an important and unique issue, so it seems rather logical for them to wait until they make a decision.

Volvo’s stand on this


This issue has raised a lot of debates. Car manufacturers are most likely waiting for the day the government will finally decide on this matter.

Sadly, that didn’t happen until this day. And so Volvo decided that they won’t waste any more time and took a stand.

While he was at the Washington Embassy, Volvo’s CEO Håkan Samuelsson, said that they will “accept full liability” in the case of an accident, provided the autonomous mode would be on, which would technically make it their fault anyway. But if the owner of the car didn’t use the technology the right way, then it would be the driver’s fault.

Imagine how weird it would be for us drivers to blame a car manufacturer in the case of an accident. But the whole point of driverless cars is to reduce car accidents to a minimum and potentially eliminate them altogether. So even if there would ever be such cases, we would probably be able to count them on our fingers.

Car manufacturers want to make it happen – Let’s blame it on the driverless cars

Volvo’s move is definitely one that can speed up the process of the rules and regulations that need to be implemented. As of right now, the lack of regulation for the situation described above holds back the development of this industry.

Erik Coelingh, the Chief Technical Officer of Volvo, said that someone needs to be responsible in case of an accident, “and we think it’s unrealistic to put that responsibility on our customers”.

Volvo has high hopes from the autonomous technology because the company wants to completely eliminate deadly car accidents or even minor ones by 2020 within their car ranges.

But today, even the most impossible thoughts people had a few years ago can become possible. I read this saying a few days ago and it goes a little something like this: Impossible doesn’t exist. You just didn’t find a way to make it work.

Volvo is extremely brave for this decision. Hopefully the government will now make its move and make a decision as well.

What do you think about Volvo’s move?

While it’s only to be expected that they would take responsibility for something like this, it’s still admirable, since there are manufacturers who would just try to prolong these discussions as much as possible.

If you want to share your thoughts on this matter, then feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

Also, if you want to find out more about the connected car industry, then don’t hesitate to check out the rest of my articles.

Philipp Kandal