Skip to comments.AUTONOMOUS CARS Motorcyclist Sues GM Over Crash With Self-Driving Chevy Bolt
Posted on 01/23/2018 10:42:53 PM PST by Impala64ssa
Oscar Nilsson filed a lawsuit against General Motors Monday concerning a collision between Nilsson on his motorcycle and a Chevy Bolt involved in GMs Cruise self-driving test program in San Francisco.
The crash occurred on December 7, where Nilsson claims a Chevy Bolt involved in GMs self-driving testing program swerved into his lane, knocking him off of his motorcycle and injuring him, via The Mercury News:
Nilsson claims in the suit that he was riding behind one of GMs autonomous Bolts on Dec. 7 on Oak Street, when the car, with backup driver, changed lanes to the left. When he rode forward, the Bolt suddenly veered back into his lane and knocked him to the ground, according to the lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Police Department determined Nilsson to be at fault for the collision because he was attempting to pass on the right. The police report also claimed that the Bolt aborted its lane change, and that the GM employee behind the wheel of the vehicle attempted to steer away from the motorcyclist but was too late to avoid contact.
GM acknowledged the aborted lane change in its crash report to the California DMV, but did not admit fault. From The Mercury News:
The company acknowledged that the car, in autonomous-driving mode in heavy traffic, had aborted a lane change. But GM said that as its car was re-centering itself in the lane, Nilsson, who had been riding between two lanes in a legal-in-California practice known as lane-splitting, moved into the center lane, glanced the side of the Cruise wobbled, and fell over.
The crash report also indicated that the Bolt was traveling at 12 mph and Nilsson was traveling at 17 mph. Its not clear which version of the self-driving test setup the Chevy Bolt involved in the crash was equipped with.
Nilsson reported having to go on disability leave for shoulder and neck injuries which will require lengthy treatment, and he is seeking unspecified damages.
The lawsuit comes just shortly after GM announced the next iteration of its self-driving vehicles, which were teased to not include pedals or a steering wheel. As weve previously reported, the Cruise self-driving test program was involved in 22 of 27 total reported accidents involving self-driving vehicles in California last year, all of which were blamed on human error. GM claims its confident it will deploy fully autonomous cars by 2019.
As more companies dive into developing proprietary self-driving technologies and deploy test vehicles on public roads, expect to see many more incidents and lawsuits involving human injuries and dented test cars.
Jalopnik reached out to Nilssons attorney and GM and will update when more information is available.
Update Jan 23 9:15 p.m.: GM responded to Jalopniks request for comment:
Safety is our primary focus when it comes to developing and testing our self-driving technology. In this matter, the SFPD collision report determined that the motorcyclist merged into our lane before it was safe to do so.
I think 5 to 10 young men in their 20s and 30s are killed here in the Bay Area every year when lane splitting. A young man who worked in our town and was well liked by everybody died that way last summer.
I’ve gone to change lanes to the right, looked over my shoulder and in the mirror, signaled, started the lane change and BAM! a lane splitter shows up out of nowhere. I’ve had to abort lane changes more than once for that reason.
I don’t blame the Bolt...blame the idiot motorcyclist.
I know, lane splitting is illegal in FL and most states, but I think CA allows it in some areas? It’s legal in most parts of Australia and there’s plenty of road rage vids on You Tube from down under showing lane splitting incidents ending badly for these guys on their crotch rockets. A friend of ours was an ER nurse, she had a name for those “daredevils”, ORGAN DONORS.
And it begins. Most of us here realized this is a fatal flaw. GM becomes the deep pocket and will be sued to oblivion. Maybe not this case, but there will inevitably be a baby stroller.
That is an idiotic statement. This is not racism you fool.
Robot vehicles are running over motorcyclists.
The San Francisco Police Department determined Nilsson to be at fault for the collision because he was attempting to pass on the right. The police report also claimed that the Bolt aborted its lane change, and that the GM employee behind the wheel of the vehicle attempted to steer away from the motorcyclist but was too late to avoid contact.People who pass on the right should be executed. (Well, that's the way it is in Germany I've read.)
We have all these nerds who worship technology, but each gadget you carry has multiple failures.
Technology has many failures, get used to it, and on a car that kills people.
Another one who didn’t read the article.
I thought not reading article was fr tradition :)
“Re-centering” = Lawyerese BS
Lane splitting is dangerous. I’m surprised it is legal anywhere, but this was California which explains a lot.
Police reports are not always accurate, but they are under pressure to assign blame so they do. Therefore, lawsuits happen.
The whole incident boils down to this, IMHO:
The computer incorrectly assumed that the spot that it vacated when it attempted the lane change would remain vacant. The motorcyclist incorrectly assumed that the car would complete the lane change and stay there. Both were wrong, both share the blame.
This could just as easily have happened with a conventionally operated car.
I have had so many near misses with motorcyclists over the years that it isnt even funny. They just come out of nowhere going way over the speed limit. If they are suicidal they should just jump off a bridge. They always blame the car driver for not seeing them.
A Bolt out of the blue?
I don’t know.
I rode a motorcycle in the LA area for quite a while. There are guys who are far too aggressive, yes, but there are also people who are dangerous to bikers.
You’ve got both. Bikers, don’t push things to the limit.
But cars, also watch for people riding. There is fault on both sides, sometimes.
The car has a big advantage however, in any collision, so just watch for bikes, is all.
1) I had a close call when turning right at a stop sign. A motorcycle was being tailgated by a pickup truck, so my glance told me that the pickup truck had one headlight out.
2) Connecticut's I-84 through Hartford has "midnight motorcycle races" that can triple the speed limit. 'Something to experience as "lane-splitting" is necessary for them.
Check out YouTube for some California "bike adventures".
Did you read the article you posted?
There’s nothing here.
WAY too many freepers are doing that lately.
Agreed and poster should have read the article before posting.
If you want to take out a motorcyclist, clip his front wheel. That is the most difficult collision to recover from.
If you want to entice a motorcyclist to attempt to pass you, go 12 mph.
I pass on he right several times a day. I especially like to do it to Truckers who enjoy the tyranny of trying to use two lanes by leaving the right lane empty. If a driver doesn’t want people passing him on the right, he needs to move right and let them pass him on the left. I make it a point to pass truck drivers on the right even if I could pass them on the left. And on my daily commute that’s pretty normal since it’s a six-lane freeway
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