New Jersey residents may be aware that several companies have vowed to bring a fully autonomous vehicle to the market within five years, but some experts believe that this timetable is highly optimistic. While self-driving cars promise to one day drastically reduce motor vehicle accident deaths and ease congestion, there are a number of financial, legal and psychological hurdles that must be cleared first.
Few disagree that the advent of autonomous technology will cause a paradigm shift in society and change the way Americans view transportation and driving, but little has been done to develop regulations for self-driving cars and pave the way for this technology. Questions have also been raised about the accuracy of the mapping software used by autonomous vehicles and the reliability of their sensors and accident avoidance systems.
However, the biggest challenge facing autonomous car makers may be changing the views of skeptical consumers. For decades, auto manufacturers have portrayed cars as instruments of freedom and driving as an American birthright, and they may find it difficult to distance themselves from this message and its symbolism. Consumers will also need to be convinced that autonomous vehicles will actually work. When the auditing firm Deloitte polled consumers about self-driving cars in 2016, almost three quarters of the American drivers surveyed said that they did not believe the technology was safe.
Personal injury attorneys who have represented car accident victims will likely support technology that is designed to eliminate human error and save lives. While fully autonomous cars may still be years away, many modern vehicles already contain sophisticated electronic safety systems that can either prevent crashes or provide valuable information to accident investigators. Attorneys may also use this information to determine what occurred in the moments before a collision and establish liability in car accident lawsuits.