Advertisement

Volvo to accept liability if autonomous car tech fails

Volvo boss makes landmark announcement that his company will accept full liability when car is in autonomous mode

Volvo XC90 - front cornering

Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson has announced that his company will accept full liability if any of its cars crash while in full autonomous driving mode. Samuelsson has already signalled his intent that no individual will be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo by 2020, and this latest announcement paves the way for further development of autonomous driving technology.

Advertisement - Article continues below

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for the legal acceptance of autonomous driving tech is who will take the blame if the tech fails and the car is involved in a crash. Now Volvo has said that it will take full liability, other car makers are expected to follow suit. 

Until now, many legislators around the world have been wary of allowing even testing of autonomous driving tech due to the uncertainty over who would be to blame, and could face prosecution and claims for damages, if the technology failed and the car crashed. Volvo’s landmark announcement is expected to pave the way for some territories to allow testing of fully autonomous vehicles on its streets.

The Google car is on its way 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Samuelsson made his announcement in the US where he was calling for Federal guidelines for autonomous driving.

“The US risks losing its leading position due to the lack of Federal guidelines for the testing and certification of autonomous vehicles,” said Samuelsson. “Europe has suffered to some extent by having a patchwork of rules and regulations. It would be a shame if the US took a similar path to Europe in this crucial area.”  

“The absence of one set of rules means car makers cannot conduct credible tests to develop cars that meet all the different guidelines of all 50 US states. If we are to ensure a smooth transition to autonomous mobility then together we must create the necessary framework that will support this.”

Volvo has become a leader in autonomous technology with the new XC90 and forthcoming S90 benefitting from technology including adaptive cruise control with queue assist, and automatic braking with pedestrian and large animal detection.

Will Volvo's move to accept liability for accidents caused by its self-driving cars remove a big barrier facing the technology? Let us know in the comments...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

New Volvo coupe-SUV set to lead next-generation of brand’s EVs
Volvo

New Volvo coupe-SUV set to lead next-generation of brand’s EVs

Volvo planning a new range of sleeker coupe-SUVs in EV rethink, and our exclusive image previews how they could look
23 Jul 2020
Volvo On Call app: update adds data on energy use for plug-in hybrid owners
Volvo smart watch
Volvo

Volvo On Call app: update adds data on energy use for plug-in hybrid owners

Owners of Volvo plug-in hybrids will be able to see what proportion of their journeys are made using electric power through the On Call app
9 Jul 2020
Volvo recalls 2.2 million cars for seatbelt fault
Volvo

Volvo recalls 2.2 million cars for seatbelt fault

The huge safety recall applies to numerous Volvos made from 2006 to 2018, with 169,481 UK cars affected 
1 Jul 2020
Post-coronavirus subsidies for non-electric cars would be a waste, says Volvo boss
News

Post-coronavirus subsidies for non-electric cars would be a waste, says Volvo boss

Hakan Samuelsson believes it’s naive to expect everything to return to normal after the coronavirus, and the future is electric.
13 May 2020

Most Popular

Entire Volkswagen line-up updated for 2021
News

Entire Volkswagen line-up updated for 2021

Volkswagen has revised its complete range of vehicles for 2021, adding new engines, fresh tech and its latest MIB3 infotainment system
11 Aug 2020
New 2020 Audi S3 Sportback blasts in with 306bhp
Audi S3

New 2020 Audi S3 Sportback blasts in with 306bhp

Audi’s latest hot hatch keeps four-cylinder power but turns up the wick and level of standard tech
11 Aug 2020
Best new car deals 2020
Best cars & vans

Best new car deals 2020

Secure your dream model from our list of the best new car deals on the market right now
6 Aug 2020