Under a bill signed in June by Governor DeSantis, self-driving vehicles will now be allowed to operate on Florida roadways without a human presence in the car. The law went into effect on July 1stand states that as long as self-driving vehicles meet insurance and safety requirements, they can travel without a human on board. Before the new law, self-driving vehicles were only allowed on the road if there was a human backup driver present in the vehicle. Lawmakers are hoping to attract companies testing autonomous vehicles to move to Florida.
Safety of Self-driving Vehicles
While the manufacturers of self-driving vehicles such as Google, Tesla, and Uber claim that their vehicles are safer than those with drivers, it remains to be seen. There are no clear parameters on what is safe when it comes to self-driving vehicles. Florida now has guidelines regarding the safety of these vehicles, and there are federal voluntary guidelines. However, these vehicles can still suffer from technical issues that can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving vehicles are vehicles that are completely autonomous and will not have drivers behind the wheel. While these vehicles are now permitted on Florida roadways, no manufacturer has successfully tested a vehicle of this level and placed it on the road. However, even with human safety drivers behind the wheel, accidents still happen. In 2018, a pedestrian in Tempe was struck and killed by a self-driving vehicle that was unable to anticipate her actions when she crossed the street where there was no crosswalk. Both Level 2 and Level 3 self-driving vehicles have been responsible for multiple fatalities.
Although car accidents happen every day, driving by humans is still relatively safe. Human drivers are better able to interpret and predict the behavior of other humans, while self-driving vehicles may not be able to do so. Manufacturers of self-driving vehicles would need to find a way to make them safer than human driving in order for the public to feel safe.
Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a Tampa Bay car accident, you may want an experienced attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping the injured. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.