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Self-Driving Cars Shown to Save Lives and Money

Many are now arguing that computer-operated, self-driving cars are the way to go. These cars of the near future cannot drink and drive, do drugs, fall asleep, get distracted, tailgate, or run red lights. Further, research shows the reaction times for these vehicles are quicker than a human driver. A new study actually reveals that self-driving vehicles have the potential to radically transform driving by significantly reducing congestion on roadways, eliminating many traffic fatalities, and providing billions of dollars in economic benefits.

However, there are significant hurdles that must be overcome to make self-driving cars the norm, most important of which is cost. The study showed that added software, sensors, engineering, power, and computing requirements currently cost over $100,000 for each vehicle, which is obviously unaffordable for most drivers. The study concluded that large-scale production “promises greater affordability over time.” There are also questions about the effect of the cars, namely how the public will receive the cars, how liability will work in the event of an accident, and how automakers will prevent the cars from being hacked. Despite the questions that remain, the Eno Center for Transportation, the organization responsible for the study, said there are many advantages to the self-driving cars. It stated that if only ten percent of vehicles on the road were self-driving, traffic deaths could decrease by 1,000 per year and produce approximately $38 billion in economic and other savings. If ninety percent of cars and trucks on the road were self-driving, up to 21,700 lives per year could be spared and economic and other benefits could be as much as $447 billion.

Joshua Schank, ENO’s president and CEO, stated, “There will be many steps before we get to that, but it does feel like there is a whole new world that completely changes everything in terms of our perspective on driving that could emerge eventually.” Society could be completely transformed by the ability for former drivers to safely watch movies, call friends, read books, eat, or do work on their laptops while the car does all the driving. The self-driving cars may also help the elderly and disabled by providing mobility in that the cars may be programmed to pick up the individual, drive them to their destination, and then the car could park itself. If a high number of the self-driving cars are out on the roadway, they have the ability to start “platooning”–driving closely together, yet keeping a safe distance between each other without burning through fuel, wasting time, or getting stuck in traffic congestion.

Leaving the driving to a computer has big benefits, October 22, 2013

According to government research, driver error is likely the main cause of ninety percent of all motor vehicle crashes. Over forty percent of fatal automobile crashes are caused, at least in part, by alcohol, drugs, fatigue, or distraction. The study said that self-driving cars would not be susceptible to such human behavior, and could, therefore, lead to at least a forty percent reduction in fatal crashes. General Motors and Nissan are the furthest along in their research in regards to developing self-driving cars, but BMW, Audi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen have also begun testing the computer-operated vehicles. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration is also conducting further research into self-driving cars and trucks.

The Coral Gables product liability lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona have been consumer advocates for over two decades. Drivers must have access to safety information about the vehicles that they choose to purchase and feel safe in those vehicles as they operate them about the roadways. All too often, defects in automobiles that create safety issues are not found until it is too late. It is important that companies engaged in the development of self-driving cars ensure that the cars are completely safe before they market the cars to the public. The Palm Beach personal injury lawyers have spent over twenty years helping their clients recover compensation for injuries suffered as a result of automobile accidents caused by another’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured in an unsafe vehicle, call a Fort Lauderdale motor vehicle accident lawyer today at (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation. Don’t hesitate, call today!

The Miami automobile accident lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of personal injury accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries.

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