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Rider sues after collision with self-driven car

Published: 31 January 2018

Is this the shape of things to come?

An American motorcyclist is suing General Motors after a collision with a driverless car which was being tested in California. 

The accident happened while the Chevrolet Bolt was being tested in San Francisco on December 7, 2017. Oscar Nilsson was riding his motorcycle in traffic when the vehicle allegedly veered into his path, knocking him from his bike.

The Bolt was reportedly travelling at 12mph and had a back-up driver behind the wheel. Nilsson was travelling at 17mph. San Francisco police deemed Nilsson wholly at fault for the accident because he was breaking local laws by filtering – or lane splitting as it is known in the States.

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The Chevrolet went to move into the right-hand lane before aborting the manoeuvre, the back-up driver also attempted to steer the vehicle away from Nilsson but it was too late to avoid the collision.

Nilsson was able to pick up the bike and walk it to the side of the road at the time of the incident, but has been reported to have suffered neck and shoulder injuries following the collision.

General Motors have been testing autonomous vehicles in California, developing self-driving technology. The testing is done with a back-up driver who is able to override the controls. 

Other self-driven incidents

Reuters report that there were six incidents involving self-driven vehicles last September. However, none of the autonomous vehicles, or their back-up drivers were found to be at fault, with human error of the other parties being hailed as the cause in each of the cases.

Most of the claims involved drivers of other vehicles hitting the self-driving vehicles while they were slowing for obstacles or stop signs. One of the incidents involved a driver who was distracted by his mobile and rear-ended the autonomous vehicle, which was stationary at a red light. In another case, a drunk cyclist travelling in the wrong direction crashed into a Chevrolet Bolt that had been stopped by the back-up driver and was not moving when the cyclist hit the bumper and fell over.

Would you trust a self-drive car?

There's little doubt that we will see more autononmous vehicles on the roads, let us know your thoughts on the matter on our Facebook page.

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