Technology is constantly changing. It’s inescapable. And with each change, people crave the newest and latest inventions until, suddenly, they are part of our socity and there’s no turning back. Experts predict that driverless motor vehicles are heading in that direction, and we better get used to them.
This blog post will discuss some recommendations the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is rolling out to ensure that driverless car manufacureres share access to crash and safety reports, to ensure driverless cars are as safe as possible when they hit our roads.
Guidelines And Discretion
The technology surrounding self-driving cars is still evolving, and there are still a number of questions yet to be answered in regards to their safety. As of now, there are not specific safety regulations or guidelines for manufacturers to follow. Companies are free to develop their own safety guidelines and regulations. How detailed and in-depth those guidelines are remains up to the discretion of the car makers. The Obama administration would like to see the safety testing standardized across the industry, so manufacturers have a common database or crash reports to draw on when designing safety factors into their vehicles.
A 15-Point Safety Assessment
Recently the DOT unveiled a set of guidelines which urged developers and self-driving automobile makers to provide a 15-point safety assessment, which would outline how their self-driving cars are tested. The assessment would also include identifying the software programming involved in ensuring that the driverless vehicles are in compliance with current traffic laws.
In addition, the assessment would also require auto makers to identify any safeguards which would protect unsuspecting drivers if systems were to fail while their vehicles were on the roadways. Companies would also be required to explain their plans to prevent the hacking of their driverless cars.
Government officials hope to encourage automobile companies to share their most recent information on crashes involving self-driving cars and their most current systems to help verify the technology currently used to power their vehicles is safe and ready for traffic.
But not everyone agrees. Federal highway safety regulators have opposed regulations and guidelines pertaining to self-driving vehicles. They have expressed concerns about the length of time it would take to meet the guidelines; adding that many of the technologies used to develop the cars could be obsolete and replaced by technological advances before the safety data would be implemented in the design and manufacture.
If you are someone who either rides in or drives a vehicle, you should be concerned about the safety and the integrity of the drivers you share the roadways with. Sooner than many of us will be ready for, we may all face the reality of sharing the roads with driverless vehicles.
The auto insurance industry certainly has some skin in this game, as well. If federal laws are passed regarding safety and technology standards, how will insurers respond if they remain regulated within their own state’s guidelines. Who will be held liable for an accident with injuries on a Georgia road? The individual vehicle owner? Or the auto maker who failed to meet government-mandated safety standards.
An additional factor which may come into consiration involves deteriorating roads and construction zones. Not every road condition can be taken into account when running safety tests and programming the software systems. For instance, one out of every nine of the bridges in the United States is reckoned as structurally deficient according to the Federal Highway Administration. How will car makers take the structural defects into consideration?
With Or Without A Driver Behind The Wheel, Call A Personal Injury Attorney
As the technology still evolves around driverless cars, you should not lose sight of the very real and everyday dangers you face as you take to the roadways. If you were involved in an accident in Northwest Georgia caused by falling debris, a self-driving car or a distracted or negligent driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
Secure an attorney before you have any conversations with your insurance company beyond notifying them of your accident. You should never leave anything to chance. If you have been injured, it may take weeks, months or more than a year to determine what your final prognosis is, and oftentimes well intentioned people tend to offer far more information than they need to or should. An experienced personal attorney is there to protect your interest, and help you get a fair and equitable settlement.