WHO ARE YOU GOING TO SUE?
NEW ZEALAND IS UNUSUAL IN HAVING BANNED THE RIGHT TO SUE FOR personal injury, in exchange for compensation under the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Manufacturers of self-driving cars in other countries could get sued if their car makes a mistake and injures someone, but the possibility arises that ACC will pick up the tab in New Zealand.
What’s more, the fund that ACC uses to compensate motor accident victims receives no contributions from vehicle manufacturers. So if someone is injured due to a design defect in the brakes of a conventional car, compensation is paid for by ACC; in the US the manufacturer could be liable.
This will continue to be the case when driverless cars hit the road. The appropriate levies would be too complex to collect and, in any case, New Zealand benefits from safety assurance regimes in other countries.