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Motorcyclist And GM Settle Action Involving Collision With Self-Driving Car

Oscar Willhelm Nilsson, a San Francisco motorcyclist, asserted that he was involved in a collision on Dec. 7, 2017 with a self-driving 2016 Chevrolet Bolt that was in self-driving mode. Nilsson claimed that after the Bolt switched lanes on the driver’s command, he attempted to pass it but the Bolt suddenly swerved back to its original lane. This is believed to be the first-known suit involving a collision with a self-driving vehicle.

In a negligence suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Nilsson asserted that he suffered injuries to his neck and shoulder, that he required lengthy treatment, and that he was on disability leave from his work. It was reported by Law360 that GM differed in its version of events, indicating that when a minivan ahead of the vehicle slowed down, the self-driving vehicle abandoned its attempted merge. It further claimed that the San Francisco Police Department collision report indicated that Nilsson had merged before it was safe to do so.

Counsel for both parties reported that they had reached a full settlement on May 30, 2018. Law360 further reported that on May 31st, GM announced that $2.25 billion would be invested into the automated driving hardware and software by a technology investment firm.

Lexis Advanced subscribers can access Oscar Willhelm Nilsson v. General Motors LLC at:  2018 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 14542

Author:  Sheri Steinmetz, Lexis-Nexis Case Law Editor

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