It will be a court case to follow closely as it could set a precedent for who’s at fault when a self-driving car crashes or causes a wreck. The motorcyclist involved in a wreck with a General Motors-Cruise self-driving car has filed a lawsuit against the automaker.
Mercury News reported on the lawsuit on Tuesday, in which alleges the motorcyclist, Oscar Nilsson of San Francisco, wrecked because of the autonomous car. The crash occurred on a three-lane road, and per the police report, the self-driving Bolt EV attempted to move from the middle lane to the furthest left lane.
At the same time, a van reportedly slowed down in the self-driving car’s desired lane, which caused the Bolt EV to move back into the middle lane it occupied. While this occurred, Nilsson passed a vehicle on the right and initiated a lane-split, which is legal by California law. The police report said the Bolt EV collided with Nilsson and knocked him and the bike over.
The police found Nilsson at fault when he decided “to overtake and pass another vehicle on the right under conditions that did not permit that movement in safety.” Nilsson claims that’s not the case and the self-driving Bolt EV struck him and caused him to wreck.
GM’s report that it filed with the California DMV claims the car was not at fault for the crash, either. Per GM’s report, Nilsson “moved into the center lane, glanced the side of the Cruise … wobbled, and fell over.” Basically, as Nilsson took in the sight of a self-driving car, he caused his own wreck.
Both sides certainly have a case, and as mentioned above, it will be very interesting to watch how this plays out in court. If Nilsson is in the right, it may set a new precedent for who’s at fault, which would likely be GM and Cruise, since the car was not operated by a human driver. And as self-driving cars begin to populate areas, we’re likely to see more similar cases.