Driverless Cars Are Coming: Are Self-Driving Cars Safe

Trusted Content

Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. August 24, 2013

are driverless cars safeIt is not surprising to learn that fully robotic cars are the next evolution in driving technology.

Cars have had the ability to parallel park without the assistance of a driver for several years.

Drivers have benefited from sensors in the car that signal about objects in blind spots, center themselves in the lane or adjust speed based on the location of other vehicles.

Gaining Acceptance

Florida, Nevada and California have all recently enacted laws approving self-driving cars with Michigan not far behind. While the remaining states have not yet addressed these robotic cars, many are rushing to figure out the proper way to regulate the new technology.

Is It Safe?

These new laws should help establish self-driving car safety and performance regulations to allow testing of driverless vehicles.

A preliminary policy statement issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges the importance of the success of these robotic cars and addresses the benefit to safety provided by autonomous cars.

Resolving More Than Highway Safety

Reducing the number of people killed on the roads each day because of distracted and impaired driving is a tremendous benefit.

The benefit to the trucking industry is also readily apparent. With fewer drivers available and long road trips, having a self-driving truck may help keep over land shipping safe.

However, an enormous benefit is quality of life for the visually impaired and older adults who are no longer able to drive themselves. With the baby boomer generation moving into this age group, robotic cars may allow extended independence for seniors.

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