In a world where it seems as though anything is possible, there are companies that are developing cars that drive themselves. Google recently announced that it has built a fully functional prototype of a self-driving car, which the company plans to have on the market within five years. As amazing as the concept of a self-driving car is, as personal injury attorneys, we are very much interested in the safety implications of this new technology.
It is possible that self-driving vehicles could end up being as safe as or possibly even safer than cars that are driven by humans. Many car accidents are caused by human error, including accidents involving drunk driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, failing to adjust driving habits to road conditions, and many others. Self-driving cars are designed to detect the presence of other vehicles and pedestrians nearby and to adjust their course accordingly. However, these cars are designed by humans and programmed by humans, which means that the potential for human error cannot be eliminated. It may be reduced, and the humans who are responsible for the errors may not be the ones that are inside the vehicles if accidents occur, but the possibility of errors will still be there.
Also, while some people are not good drivers, many people are. The act of driving a vehicle safely from one place to another is a complex task that involves focus and the ability to respond to countless things in the surrounding environment, which changes constantly as you move down the road. This is something that most of us don’t think about every time we drive to the store, or to pick up the kids from soccer practice, but each trip is a unique experience. If we think about self-driving cars in this way, entrusting computers with a complex task like driving, which requires the synthesis of multiple types of information in real time, may not seem like a safe way to go.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon how you envision a self-driving car to be), the human ability to synthesize and respond to the world around the vehicle in real time is not lost when you ride in a self-driving car. What many likely envision when they hear the term “self-driving car” is not actually what the companies who are now designing such vehicles have in mind. Simply stated, the vehicles are not designed to enable drivers to be completely passive. Drivers of most self-driving cars will still have to sit in the driver’s seat, pay attention to their surroundings, and operate the steering wheel and the brakes from time to time.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys
Whether self-driving cars become commonplace or not, people who travel in passenger vehicles will always be at risk for being involved in an accident. If a motor vehicle accident has taken the life of someone you love, or if you were injured in a crash, it is important that you speak with a Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney right away. To learn more about how the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you, please call (601) 355-2022.