The future is just around the corner when it comes to driver-less cars. At the end of 2014 Google introduced us to their first driver-less smart car. There are several other companies testing driver-less cars, but Google has had the largest impact and was the first of 3 other companies to receive permits from California to test their vehicles. Google has over one million miles of driver-less car testing under its belt.
One of the big benefits of computer operated driver-less smart cars is that it should make car accidents a rare occurrence. Driver-less smart cars don’t drink and drive, get distracted, or fall asleep at the wheel which are some of the main causes of car accidents. The computer systems of driver-less cars use sensors, radar, and cameras to detect other cars, maintain safe driving distances, stay in their lane, and avoid collisions.
Are Driver-less Cars in Your Neighborhood?
At the end of August 2016 Uber self-driving cars will be available in Pittsburg and will be summoned thru the Uber app on customer iPhones. An article in Bloomberg describes the Uber fleet in Pittsburg as using modified Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicles. They will have human drivers overseeing operation of the driver-less car to start with, and Uber plans on offering free trips in its driver-less cars at first.
A New York Times article from August 16, 2016 reports that Ford is planning on mass producing driver-less cars and having them available for commercial operation by 2021.
First Death in Driver-less Car
In fact, one person has already died in a Florida car accident in a computer driven vehicle. Joshua Brown died when his computer driven car failed to brake when a truck turned left in front of his car. The computer sensors on Brown’s car for some unknown reason failed to see the truck. The speculation is that the color of the truck and lighting in the area may have contributed to the sensor’s detection failure. Because this is still a new technology there are bound to be glitches and a need to fix them to prevent future similar problems.
Laws and regulations will need to catch up to the advent of driver-less cars. What kinds of actions can be taken legally if there is some kind of computer error in a driver-less car that results in an accident with injury?
Even though the future seems to already be here concerning sharing the roadways with driver-less vehicles, we can expect there to be a mix of these cars and vehicles driven by humans for some time to come. And with that in mind, we can also expect there to continue to be car accidents caused by human error, DUI, distraction, and carelessness not to mention computer software error.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident you should always consult with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you recover the damages you need to pay for medical and other associated expenses of your accident injury.
Attorney Joel Baskin
Call car accident attorney Joel Baskin today for a free consultation about your car accident injury. Joel has two offices in East Point and Vinings for your convenience.