Illinois residents may know that major automakers like Toyota, General Motors and BMW are working on developing driverless vehicles, and Google has perhaps made the most progress in developing a self-driving car. The Google car has logged more than 300,000 hours so far, 50,000 of which have not involved human operator intervention. The cars are able to predetermine whether or not they will fit into a parking space, maintain safe driving distance on the highway and slow down to avoid a collision at city speeds. Google’s engineers say the driverless car will free up time for humans, contribute to a reduction in the number of car accidents and cause fewer harmful emissions into the environment to boot.
The innovative driverless car would call for changes in the law as well. Laws would need to be adapted to determine who would be at fault in accidents that involve driverless cars. The process of writing tickets for traffic violations would also need to be revised in instances in which a driverless car is caught speeding or otherwise disobeying traffic laws due to a system error or failure to register changed signage.
Potential problems with the technology itself include lack of ability to identify and perceive visual cues like slowing down when approaching road construction or responding to an approaching police car. The cars are also currently unable to obey traffic signs, maintain the correct lane in unclear weather conditions like snowy streets or during a rainstorm. Perhaps the most dangerous of the Google car’s current shortcomings is its inability to identify pedestrians.
Navigating the court system after being involved in a car accident can add stress during an already stressful time. Fortunately, a lawyer who specializes in car accidents may be able to help. Car accident victims may find that speaking with a car accident lawyer can possibly help them better understand the legal remedies that may be available for obtaining compensation.
Source: PBS Newshour Extra, “Are We Ready For Driverless Cars?,” Ibrahim Balkhy, May 13, 2013