BMW will accept autonomous liability

BMW has committed to being liable for the safety of passengers in its future autonomous vehicles.

Speaking at the launch of the latest 5-Series in Portugal this week, the project manager for driver assistance systems on the seventh-generation mid-sized sedan, Oliver Poguntke, said, ‘If you change the responsibility from the driver to fully automatic with the car then the mass producer must take liability for this. I think this is a necessary step. To change the responsibility, we must also have the laws [that allow autonomous driving]. There is a lot of discussions in the world, and some countries are different to others. We need to have consistency with this.’

His comments echo what Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars has said, when he declared Volvo would ‘accept full liability’ for crashes involving its driverless cars.