Driverless cars are big news in New Jersey and across the United States. Some of the biggest companies in the country are investing in research and develop of autonomous cars and similar technologies. While tech companies like Apple, Google, Intel, Tesla and Uber are investing in research, some corporations are also spending billions to buy startups working on driverless vehicles.
One project launched by Google has seen self-driving cars move more than 3 million miles. There are a number of appealing ideas about autonomous vehicles. For example, there are nearly 100 roadway deaths every day in the United States. The vast majority of these crashes are caused by human error. Autonomous vehicles are not subject to the same logical fallacies or mistakes as humans and cannot be drowsy, distracted or drunk. In addition, self-driving cars can travel more closely together because their speed is automatically maintained.
However, there are safety concerns about autonomous vehicles as well. When decisions are made by algorithms, those programs are still created by humans. And those human programmers will need to create routines that require these vehicles to take certain actions or prioritize some people’s safety when an accident seems inevitable. In this context, traditional concepts of fault in auto accidents may need to be retooled. It remains open to question who would be at fault in an accident caused by a truly autonomous vehicle, especially in cases where the accident or resulting injuries may come as a result of the vehicle’s built-in programming.
In the meantime, auto accidents will continue to happen. When a collision is the fault of a negligent driver, occupants of other vehicles who have been injured may want to have the help of an experienced attorney when seeking appropriate compensation for their losses, either through a settlement with the at-fault motorist’s insurer or through a lawsuit.