The auto industry’s response to the increase in fatal accidents due distractions is to develop more comprehensive driver alerts that will ultimately lead to semi-automated and automated vehicles. While this technology has the potential to substantially reduce accidents, it might also increase the liability of public entities. The problem is that when an accident occurs, it will usually involve a products liability suit against the vehicle manufacturer and subrogation against public entities alleging road defects or design contributed to the cause. Even where the public entity is successful defending the action under various immunity statutes, the legal costs will be substantial.
This section includes articles discussing the evolution of semi-automated and automated driving.