In November 2015, Volvo unveiled Concept 26, a model of its self-driving car’s interior. This unveiling is a part of the automaker’s still-in-development programme, ‘Drive-Me’, in which 100 self-driving and connected cars will be given to motorists around the Swedish city of Gothenburg by 2017. Yet, there is a concern with this new technology—who would be responsible in the event of an accident?
The completed self-driving vehicle that Volvo plans to unveil sometime in the near future will have the option for the driver to operate the car manually. Therefore, the automaker has decided to accept full liability only if the vehicle is operating under its self-driving mode when involved in an accident. Otherwise, the driver would be liable. And, while the technology is still in its infancy, it does herald a monumental shift in the way that both cars and travel are viewed.
Despite Volvo’s efforts to introduce driverless cars to the public within the next few years, it may take longer for the vehicles to reach the United Kingdom. The reason for this is that the legal framework has been slow to adopt established legislation to accommodate new mobility technology. However, the issue of connected and self-driving cars has rapidly become a priority within the UK’s political agenda. For now, Volvo is helping to eliminate some of the uncertainty surrounding an exciting but still burgeoning technology.