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Volvo will back its self-drive cars in court

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 09 October 2015

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HAKAN Samuelsson (right), the chief of Volvo Cars, has indicated that the Swedish brand will assume legal responsibility if one its autonomous vehicles is involved in a crash.

Samuelsson plans to tell a seminar about self-driving cars organised by Volvo and Swedish embassy this week, that “Volvo will accept full liability whenever one if its cars is in autonomous mode”.

He will also address issues with hacking of self-driving cars. “We are constantly evolving defensive software to counter the risks associated with hacking a car. We do not blame Apple, or Microsoft for computer viruses or hackers.”

Although many automakers, suppliers and tech companies are currently tackling autonomous vehicle technology, there has been much debate as to who will be held responsible should a self-driving car be involved in an accident.

Volvo says that it is “one of the first car makers in the world to make such a promise”.

More and more companies have been publicly demonstrating self-driving technologies that they are working on.

An automated Audi A7 drove itself most of the way from California to CES 2015 in Las Vegas, and a Delphi-engineered car mostly steered itself from the west to the east coast of the USA.

Reports indicate that Apple is actively researching a self-driving of its own, while rival Google has already display its hand with a large fleet of self-driving Lexus RX SUVs and a far more radical autonomous pod car.

Google’s vehicles are licensed to drive on public roads in several US states, and have been caught up in a number of accidents thus far, but all have been the fault of human drivers in the other vehicle involved.