| Added On September 11, 2012
Just a few weeks ago Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that gets California one step closer to being an episode of The Jetsons. The bill allows the CA Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Highway Patrol to set standards and regulations for next generation driver-less cars, or robot cars. This means that the state is getting ready to introduce these robotic vehicles onto our roads. If everything progresses as it has been we should see manufactured vehicles on California’s roads within the next 10 years.
BLIND MAN DRIVES TO TACO BELL
Google – the brilliant search engine – has been extremely involved in the development of robot driven cars. They even went so far as to show a man that is 95% blind driving to pick up some food at Taco Bell.
WOULD A ROBOT CAR GET DRUNK?
If you live in California you already know how much time people spend in their cars. It’s insane if you think about ti – there’s cars and highways everywhere! With so many cars on the road it follows that there are a tremendous amount of accidents. Now what if one of these vehicles gets into an accident. Would a driverless car be subject to some of the main causes of automobile accidents?
– Reasons for auto accidents in California:
– Running on red light
– Failure to give signal when making a turn
– Texting or using cell phone while driving
– Driving under the influence (DUI)
– Driver errors
– Defective tires
– Road obstructions
– Extreme weather conditions
If a robot car was communicating wirelessly with a red light that was about to change green, would it jump the light early? Would a computer ever forget to signal for a turn? Would it even make driving mistakes at all?
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN A ROBOT GETS INTO AN ACCIDENT?
Who would one file a lawsuit against? There are many areas of personal injury law that probably haven’t even been explored yet – the most significant being liability after an accident: who will become liable if a machine, a robot, a computer, gets into an accident with a non-robot, one of us, a human… does the manufacturer become liable? Does the computer programmer,t he person that wrote the code for the software inside the car?
Even though licensed drivers would initially have to still sit behind the steering wheel as :backup drivers,” it raises a whole host of questions regarding safety and liability.
Some people think that the robot cars will be much safer than humans. Except for rare mechanical failures, human beings cause nearly all auto, truck and motorcycle accidents on our roads. If these computer driven vehicles are that much safer because of technology – as most robot car advocates believe – will these new drivers make our roads safer? It’s a question we are sure to be revisiting as we get closer to seeing them next to us at a stop sign, or picking up burgers at the drive-thru window in front of us.
Robot bikes, planes, trucks, trains…
Tomorrows technology is here. Stay tuned.