Latest lawsuit questions safety of driverless cars

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A San Francisco motorcyclist is suing General Motors over a crash that happened with one of its autonomous vehicles. (ABC News)

A San Francisco motorcyclist is suing General Motors over a crash that happened with one of its autonomous vehicles.

The latest crash involving a self-driving car is raising concerns over this emerging technology we see on our roadways.

With more driverless cars on the road, there are bound to be more crashes involving such vehicles.

RELATED: Drunk driving suspect on Bay Bridge says Tesla was on auto-pilot

According to the DMV, autonomous car accidents in California nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017.

"They are destined to happen and there's destined to be a collision," said Billy Riggs, an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco, who specializes in self-driving technology.

Riggs says car makers and cities need to work together to design roads that can accommodate driverless vehicles to avoid accidents. "Statistically, we know that these vehicles do drive safer but we know that, particularly for vulnerable users, whether you're in a wheelchair or in a bike, pedestrian or motorcyclist, any of these users are going to be more difficult for the technology to pick up on."

RELATED: Motorist sues GM over self-driving car crash in San Francisco

Motorcyclist Oscar Nilsson says last month, a self-driving Chevy Bolt started to change lanes in San Francisco. As Nilsson moved up, the Bolt then veered back into the same lane, knocking him down.

There was a backup driver in the car that collided with Nilsson but as he went to grab the wheel, it was too late.

The police report faults Nilsson for passing when it wasn't safe and GM agrees, saying "it believes the motorcyclist merged into our lane before it was safe to do so."

RELATED: Tesla's auto-pilot under spotlight after 2nd incident in 10 days

Nilsson's attorney says the maneuver by the autonomous car was "unpredictable and dangerous."

With the technology continually evolving, experts say transportation officials will need to find a way for us to better co-exist with driverless cars.

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trafficcar accidentself driving carlawsuitcargeneral motorsSan Francisco
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