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Human influence could be making self-driving cars less safe

The manner in which self-driving vehicles are programmed to drive may be unsafe, according to one prominent computer science professor. This is due to the driving software mimicking poor human driver traits. This is of obvious concern given the possibility of driverless cars eventually coming to New Jersey.

Due to a fatal accident in Arizona caused by a self-driving car, some autonomous technology tests have halted. The incident in question involved a pedestrian crossing the street in the dark outside of a crosswalk. The self-driving car was unable to detect the presence of the pedestrian immediately given the low visibility. Once the car sensed the pedestrian in its path, it attempted to brake but was traveling too fast to stop in time. According to the professor, one solution is for automated vehicles to only travel at speeds that will allow them to stop within their range of vision. This would allow the vehicle to come to a halt as soon as something in the travel path comes into view.

Unfortunately, the recent fatal collision may not have been avoidable. In fact, the professor believes a human driver likely would have had a hard time halting the vehicle in time given the low visibility. At least for now, however, autonomous vehicles are held at a much higher standard than human drivers.

Self-driving cars are just the next hazard that can cause a driver to be injured through no fault of their own. An individual injured in a car accident might have a claim for damages that covers hospital bills, auto repair costs and lost wages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to help that individual recover damages from the responsible party.

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