Engineers have finally brought science fiction to life as autonomous vehicles slowly become introduced to public use. Ridding the road of human error is an excellent benefit of self-driving vehicles, but what happens when something goes wrong?
There is a lot more to figure out before people can ride in fully autonomous vehicles outside controlled test environments. It has been a long time coming, and there is still much more testing and logistical investigation needed before they can be widely available. While the development process has proved lengthy and expensive, it could save lots of time, money, and lives once perfected.
How are cars self-driving?
Autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles are the future of transportation, but how do they work, and how are they already in our cars? It may not be apparent when driving down the highway, but most vehicles on the market have some level of autonomy.
While self-driving sounds straightforward, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified a few different levels of autonomy. Beginning at level one, where most of the cars today operate, the amount of human interaction or assistance is high with some automated features like lane assist and cruise control. The levels continue increasing with less demand for human involvement and decision-making.
There is a lot of buzz around this new technology, and many people are skeptical. However, research and development continue to improve self-driving capabilities, with safety at the forefront. Experts predict that increased vehicle automation will increase comfort and limit travel and commute stress levels.
Are Self-Driving Cars Safe?
In the wake of the pandemic, the idea of never enduring a stressful commute is something everyone could get behind. The process is not something that will change overnight. In fact, the transition will be a long process, and driver and driverless cars will have to coexist.
The apparent setback to introducing fully autonomous vehicles to public streets is safety. Although drivers have welcomed the advanced technology in consumer vehicles like Teslas, there have been safety concerns as a result. Earlier this year, passengers reportedly utilizing the Tesla Autopilot function were victims of a fatal crash.
It is scenarios like this that bring to question the technology. Although Tesla advertises this feature as exciting and innovative, they still suggest that drivers be seated behind the wheel and engaged. This recommendation was their response to the accident that took place in April, which sparked public interest in the safety of the machines.
How Will the Transition Impact Drivers?
While self-driving cars are getting more intelligent and safe, there are still accidents and risks. Whether a passenger in an autonomous vehicle or a driver involved in a crash, it is crucial to be aware of the technology and its impact as the future of transportation evolves.
A collision involving a driverless vehicle is just like any other accident and demands the same treatment. “Accidents involving self-driving vehicles warrant more intensive investigation, but they still require the same attention and process as any other accident,” and the safety of the passengers should be the biggest concern.
Following an accident, drivers should seek legal assistance from a car accident attorney to support their case. Since fault in these cases can be hazy, it is essential to have a qualified and experienced lawyer present the case and details of each case.