The future of self-driving cars
Self-driving cars may eventually make roadways much safer than they have ever been before. Google has been test-driving such vehicles in California, and so far, no injuries have been reported as a result of any accidents caused by the autonomous driving technology. However, there was an accident with no injuries caused at least in part by the technology on Feb. 14, which leads many people to speculate what will happen when a self-driving car is involved in a serious accident.
The first recorded fatal accident involving a motor vehicle happened in 1899 when a man stepped off a trolley and was struck by a taxi. Many people began debating whether cars were inherently evil. Eventually, traffic laws and other safety regulations made driving safer. Since 1970, the number of traffic fatalities has been cut by almost 50 percent.
A fatal car accident seems practically inevitable as the number of self-driving cars on the road increase. It is unknown how such an accident would affect the future of autonomous vehicles. Whether the public will accept technology that is autonomous but not completely safe remains an unanswered question.
Self-driving cars are certain to change the way that people operate their vehicles. They will likely change the way that the car insurance industry operates as well. Usually when there is a car collision, the driver who was negligent or who disobeyed traffic laws is held responsible, but in the future, many attorneys believe that the car manufacturers may be held responsible if the self-driving technology causes an accident. While self-driving cars are expected to make driving much safer by reducing car accident fatalities by 90 percent, it seems unlikely that the technology will be capable of eliminating traffic-related deaths completely.