Tesla thinks turn signals will solve liability in semi-autonomous cars

In vehicles with self-driving features, who takes the blame for a crash? Tesla may have an answer. The Wall Street Journal understands that the turn signal activation of the Model S' car-passing autopilot is largely about liability. When you flick the signal stalk, you're conveying your intent -- if the vehicle smacks into someone else as a consequence, you're likely at fault. This is unfortunate if it leaves you on the hook for an accident that was out of your hands, but it could also save you from requiring special registration to get your semi-autonomous machine on the road.

As it stands, you might not see this option for a while. While there's a big Model S firmware update expected this summer, the WSJ's sources believe that car passing might not make that initial cut. Not that there's much room to complain about Tesla taking its sweet time. After all, the last thing you want is a buggy robotic vehicle making crucial decisions on the highway.