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Vehicle data collection and car accident fault issues

We live in a world where data is collected in all manner of contexts. The range of objects that have data collection abilities has never been wider.

Among the things you encounter everyday that are likely recording some data is the car you drive. Most cars on the market these days have relatively sophisticated data collection abilities. However, it appears that the data collection capabilities of the standard car may grow even more in years to come.

For one, it may become much more common for data on even more details to be collected by such devices and for such devices to regularly send the data over the internet to the company that made the car. Currently, such enhanced capabilities are not the norm among automobiles. However, there are automakers that do make cars with such capabilities. For example, Tesla is known for having a great deal of data collection and transmission when it comes to its cars. And, it is believed that the U.S. auto industry will trend towards such enhanced abilities becoming increasingly present within on-the-market vehicles in upcoming years.

What could increases in the amount of data cars collect and send to their manufacturers mean? Well, among the many things it could lead to is more information being out there about what caused a given car accident and who was at fault in it. For example, it could potentially lead to it being relatively common for carmakers to receive a pretty clear picture on accident cause/fault from data transmitted to it via in-car devices.

One of the contexts in which general increases in car-collected data could create new issues is car accident claims. On one hand, such increases could lead to more and better information being available in connection to such accidents. On the other, it could lead to new potential challenges arising in relation to such claims, such as challenges regarding accident victims being able to get access to information a vehicle collected/transmitted that touches on how the accident that hurt them happened.

So, it will be worth keeping a close watch on how trends in data recording/transmission in automobiles play out in the future and what implications they end up having, including implications within legal matters like car accident claims.

Source: MIT Technology Review, “Tesla Knows When a Crash is Your Fault, and Other Carmakers Soon Will, Too,” Tom Simonite, June 8, 2016

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Brian Jensen

Representation in the Houston Area with 3 Convenient Locations:

Bellaire Office
Frost Bank Building, 6750 West Loop South, Suite 800
Bellaire, TX 77401

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Phone: 832-460-3366
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Houston, TX 77002

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