Volvo Cars will take the blame for any automobile accident that involves one of its self-driving vehicles.
In a statement Wednesday, the company said that its president and chief executive Håkan Samuelsson will make a formal announcement on Thursday at a self-driving car seminar hosted in Washington D.C.
“He will say Volvo will accept full liability whenever one if its cars is in autonomous mode, making it one of the first car makers in the world to make such a promise,” the company said in its statement.
By taking legal responsibility, Volvo is trying to expedite the federal regulations needed to get its self-driving vehicles on the road.
While the technolgy for self-driving cars is here, the laws governing the technology are not.
The primary thing holding back the adoption of self-driving vehicles is that there is currently no national regulatory framework to implement the techology. Instead, states are responsible for making their own regulations for testing and commercial purposes. But most states have not even bothered to address the issue.
According to Volvo, “the absence of national Federal oversight in the US runs the risk of slowing down the development and introduction of autonomous driving technologies by making it extremely difficult for car makers to test, develop and sell AD cars.”
Regulation is also slowed by the fact that a lot of ethical and legal questions about self-driving cars remain unanswered, especially when it comes to liability.
Volvo, though, seems ready and willing to take responsibility if the US government can first give it some rules to play by.
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