Mercedes to take legal responsibility for autonomous tech crashes
In a step that could be a huge stride for the world of autonomous mobility, Mercedes has said that it will accept legal liability for crashes or accidents of any of its vehicles while the Drive Pilot system is turned on. A massive statement which underlines its confident in the autonomous driving technology being developed, Mercedes is looking at gaining the edge when it comes to hands-off drive systems.
The Mercedes Drive Pilot is a SAE Level 3 Advanced Driver Assistance System that may be deployed on its vehicles in the US by the end of the year. By announcing it will accept legal responsibility for any unfortunate incident when the Drive Pilot System is engaged, the Germans are looking at showcasing the advanced technology while also trying to convince lawmakers to approve the technology.
At present, a number of brands - primarily led by Tesla - are exploring autonomous drive technologies. But one of the several concerns is that if there is an accident when such a system is in place, can a driver actually be held accountable? Accidents involving Tesla vehicles have not helped the popularity of autonomous driving technology overall, either. Tesla maintains that a driver must always keep his or her hands on the steering and be aware of surroundings at all times.
But Mercedes is going several steps ahead by confirming it will accept legal liabilities which also means that its Drive Pilot system may come with several restrictions like deployment at low speeds only, on select roads, on mapped highways and under ‘ideal’ weather conditions. It is also reported that the system would be able to issue a warning to the driver in advance for him or her to take control if and when required.