By 2020, it is estimated that autonomous vehicles will be available for purchase and by 2030, they will account for fifteen percent of car sales. Although there are many legal and technological issues to solve before then, but most are excited by the prospect of being able to engage with a mobile device while safely being transported to your destination.
The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) presents data suggesting that ninety-four percent of vehicle crashes are due to human error, which means that autonomous vehicles should be safer than a human operator. IIHS supposes that over twenty-five years after introducing automation, car crashes will be reduced by eighty percent. Regulatory agencies show their support after these revelations.
Insurance companies seem to be interested in this technology as well because fewer accidents mean fewer claims which means fewer settlements. Auto insurance premiums are likely to drop as well. However, legal experts that see over claims and companies that underwrite insurance policies aren’t too excited for these developments. As these vehicles continue to develop, an auto accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT depends on can help answer any questions that arise.
Semi-Autonomous Vehicles Are Working Now!
Thankfully, partially autonomous cars are reducing accidents already! Although we haven’t progressed to full automation yet, there are a few safety features you may be familiar with:
- Warning systems using radar, cameras or lasers to warn about a possible collision, if a driver ignores the warnings, then most systems will apply the brakes.
- There are lane-keeping and lane-departure assistance systems to help a driver stay in their lane and some systems can correct you by steering back into the lane.
- You can use monitors to eliminate blind spots. They can also warn you of collisions or can automatically steer or apply the vehicle’s brakes.
- Some cars have cruise control which can maintain a distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
Thankfully these systems are already helping drivers become aware of danger and preventing accidents. Soon, this technology will be developed enough to allow us to let the vehicle take complete control.
Future of Fully Autonomous Vehicles
]The human element may be entirely eliminated in the future, but there will still be a need for regulations on fully autonomous vehicles. Speed limits may be raised even if fatal crashes have been reduced or eliminated. Cars will be able to communicate with each other all over the road.
With all this progress, cars are far from being run without a driver. The technology isn’t there yet and some people just simply enjoy driving around. For now, we are limited to semi-autonomous vehicles that must share the road with other manually-operated cars.
Determining Liability in Accidents Involving Self-Driving Vehicles
Make no mistake, self-driving vehicles will never be 100 percent free of accidents. They will eliminate human error, but they cannot avoid all crashes. Liability can be difficult to assign when fully self-driving cars come to popularity. Usually, liability goes to who caused the accident, and today it is easier to determine because crashes are caused by driver error. As technology develops, legal procedures will have to catch up to regulate it. What will it mean to assign liability in the future? We don’t have the answers yet, but hopefully legal experts are working on delivering them soon.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into car accidents.