After an accident in a Tesla vehicle, the driver claimed that the car suddenly accelerated before crashing into a building. However, as the car was connected to the Internet, the company was able to determine what actually happened prior to the crash. It turned out that the driver had applied pressure to the accelerator and the car reacted as it should had based on the driver's actions.
Although most car makers don't log information about their cars, that may change in the future. New cars are being equipped with black boxes that record information that can be reviewed after a crash. As cars continue to become more connected, it may be possible and even a natural progression to say that automakers will start to get more data from their vehicles and drivers. It is believed that 90 percent of cars will have such capability by 2020.
Large car makers such as GM have connections with tools such as OnStar that could make gaining information easier. In addition to companies that make cars, insurance companies may want that data as well. While it may help automakers determine what happened prior to an accident, obtaining data can also make it easier to make autonomous cars, which are expected to become more mainstream in coming years and decades.
When auto accidents occur, they could cause significant property damage as well as injuries to those involved. Having the ability to determine how an accident occurred may make it easier to establish that the negligence of another motorist was the cause. This could make it possible for an injured victim to obtain compensation for medical bills and lost wages.