Mercedes-Benz to accept liability for level 3 accidents
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will accept legal responsibility for collisions that occur in cars fitted with its upcoming Level 3 Automated Lane Keeping System, dubbed ‘Drive Pilot’. This will allow drivers to remove their hands from the steering wheel, and it’s the first time a manufacturer has agreed liability.
It will extend to situations when the system directly causes a fault, but not when the driver has ‘failed to comply with their duty of care.’ Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer at Thatcham Research, commented: “The issue of liability in automated vehicles is complex and nuanced. It’s too crude to suggest that the carmaker should be liable in all circumstances; there will be times when an accident is and isn’t the carmaker’s responsibility.”
Thatcham is currently leading development of a consumer safety rating for Automated Driving Systems, which is aimed at giving UK motorists and insurers greater clarity around the ‘performance and safe use of automated technology.’ “Fostering consumer confidence and trust in the first iterations of Automated Driving is paramount. This is where independent consumer rating will have an important role to play in driving safe adoption by making people aware of systems that are not as good as others” added Avery.