A recent Washington Post article explains a significant victory for Google’s driverless car. The California governor recently signed into law a bill that controls the performance and safety standards for autonomous vehicles.
This is good news for drivers, because autonomous vehicles are expected to reduce the number and frequency of car accidents. The historic signing took place at Google’s offices, giving the green light to the company’s driverless cars. Approximately a dozen of these are already on California roads. Car accident lawyers join the public in the hope that driverless cars could reduce the number of auto accidents.
Google’s co-founder praised this new revolutionary form of transportation, which has the potential to transform people’s lives. Drivers of all kinds could benefit from driverless cars, including those who have not attained the legal age to drive, the blind, and even those too drunk to drive. However, drivers will have to be patient. For now, the law is still purely regulatory and does not authorize Google to start selling driverless cars to the public.
Driverless Cars May be Found Everywhere in 20 Years
A day after this article was published, Yahoo! Finance revealed a former General Motors (GM) Vice-President’s view that driverless cars may be ubiquitous in about two decades’ time. He also said that computers would take the place now occupied by human drivers, just as automobiles have taken the place of horse-drawn carriages.
Though Google did mention a minor accident involving one of its Priuses last year, it also trumpeted claims that its altered driverless Lexus RX 450h and Toyota Priuses covered distances exceeding 300,000 miles on busy roads and highways without a single accident.
The most recent research available from the Census Bureau tells us that close to 11 million motor vehicle accidents took place in 2009. Every year, close to 35,000 people die in car accidents. Human error is responsible for about 90 percent of these accidents.
Driverless cars would likely bring down the number of severe impacts and fender-benders. Unlike human drivers, these cars don’t smoke, drink, or sleep behind the wheel. Distracted driving can cause significant accidents that lead to serious injuries and even death.
California is now the second state (behind Nevada) to allow self-driving and independent cars on the road. There is likely to be great debate about whether this computer technology can prove to be perfect and whether California law rightly regulates its use. For now, one passenger should be in the vehicle when it is being used.
Until driverless cars are approved for public use, the frequency of car crashes will likely continue to be high. Even when driverless cars get the go ahead from lawmakers, when they are involved in a car wreck, new laws may have to be enacted to determine who is liable. Capable and experienced car accident attorneys can help car accident victims fight for the compensation they are entitled to.