Self-Driving Cars Pose New Dangers as Technologies Improve

Self-driving technology in cars is certainly moving into the fast lane, with new breakthroughs announced every month.

 While safe-driving cars are meant to make our trips safer, they also raise a raft of new safety and liability concerns and questions.

Google pioneers self-driving cars

A Google self-driving car

 Even in non self-driving cars, we have seen a drive to increased automation. Many car manufacturers have produced various methods of making their automobiles more autonomous. An example of these technologies is adaptive cruise control, which allows drivers to engage a form of cruise control that keeps adequate distance between cars on the road. Other brands also have employed assists that keep drivers within their desired lane of travel, in case they begin to wander.

 All of these technologies are powering the transition from cars that are driven, to cars that drive themselves. The notion of self-driving cars has been explored by the automobile brand Tesla, with its Autopilot software. Tesla manufactures high performance electric cars that can steer, park, and ultimately drive themselves. They can even be “summoned” from a parking spot to their driver waiting in another location. Google is also developing a self-driving car.

 With these rapidly growing technologies, there will undoubtedly be a steep learning curve for motorists to get used to cars that drive themselves. Whether you’re in the “driver’s” seat of one, or you’re driving near a car on autopilot, it can definitely take some getting used to. There have been several accidents reported involving self-driving cars.

 It’s far from reassuring that Google is developing sticky surfaces for the front end of its self-driving cars, so as pedestrians will stick to the hood if and when they are hit. Google says this safety measure will mitigate the amount of injuries associated with their self-driving car. This idea seems a bit foolish, and also alarming.

The concept of accidents in self-driving car and indeed self-driving trucks, opens up a whole new legal realm, in which the driver may not be held liable due to the fact that the car was driving itself. Autoblog recently noted how Tesla owners are already trying to place blame on the manufacturer for incidents that happen while the driver is not in control of the car. Tesla seems to consistently blame the driver for these incidents. These types of disputes are new and will probably become more prolific as manufacturers produce more of these autonomous vehicles.

 Self-driving vehicles raise other alarming questions such as what happens if they are hijacked or terrorists use them to carry out attacks.

 With all forms of technology, especially new forms, malfunctions are bound to occur. A malfunction in a car’s autopilot feature could result in a serious accident. While these new technologies are exciting, and do seem to foreshadow the future for automobile transportation, they must be welcomed with a sense of caution.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers we see a wide variety of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are very serious. We urge drivers of these new cars to use caution. If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle accident, please call the Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077 for a free consultation. With these new technologies there are a lot of moving parts that complicate situations. Our firm would be glad to answer any legal questions you may have.

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