Driverless Cars Coming Soon? I Very Much Doubt It
By John Cooper, Virginia Auto Accident Attorney
I read in the paper with interest about Google and other big companies which are putting lots of money into driverless cars. I still think that this particular science fiction idea is far off in the future. The Johnny cab idea from the movie Total Recall, I think, was made to look like a dummy because we all fear turning over our car to some puppet that somebody else controls.
I suppose as a personal injury attorney we will eventually be suing the Google software maker or someone else when wrecks inevitably happen that could have been avoided. It seems that there's always going to be some level of malfunction and then it'll just be computer programmer error as opposed to human error causing the wrecks.
The other reason why I don't think driverless cars are coming anytime soon is the loss of control. I don't want to be the passenger normally when my wife or some other family member is driving. It just makes me nervous to have somebody else being in charge of this dangerous vehicle that's hurtling down the road at 60 miles an hour. I'm sure my wife feels the same way as she demonstrates by trying to press an imaginary brake when I'm the one driving her around. I can't imagine that either one of us wants to have that dummy from the Johnny cab in control.
It's also somewhat against the whole idea of the freedom of the open road that's so much a part of how we Americans feel about our cars and the highway. The idea that somebody else is going to be making the decisions about how fast to go and what lane to be in and when to brake is against the feeling of empowerment that we all get when we are behind the wheel. It's my car and I'm going to drive it the way I want. Just like we don't want the government or anyone else telling us what to do, it seems hard for me to imagine that we're going to like the idea as Americans that Google is going to decide how our cars are going to be operated.
They say that the driverless cars will reduce accidents. I certainly think that's a worthy goal. If it puts me out business in my line of work as a plaintiff's personal injury attorney then so be it. However, it seems that it will be awhile before that happens.
You can read more about driverless cars and how issues with sophisticated technology failing at Toyota casts further doubt on the concept.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the highways or Virginia or northeastern North Carolina, we would like to talk to you. Call us at (757) 455-0077 for a free consultation.