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Self-Driving Cars: The Future of Automobiles and Car Accident Claims

Self-driving cars are the future. There seems to be no arguing that as the idea pops up in more and more conversations on science blogs, automotive industry sites, and even in the printed press. But how far away is that future, exactly? Will self-driving cars be on our roads as early as sometime next year, in 2016?

Right now, the answer is no. But Tesla vows not to be too far behind that goal. Co-founder of the groundbreaking electronic vehicle manufacturer Elon Musk sees a chance for fully autonomous self-driving cars from their company as soon as late 2017 or early 2018. The notion is not farfetched – the company’s Tesla Model S vehicle already has a self-driving mode but it requires hands to be on the steering wheel at all times, just in case something goes wrong.

In other corners of the industry, Ford could be teaming up with Google to create a fleet of self-driving cars from the wheels up. It is a bold move from the American company that had previously been struggling to get its foot in the autonomous car door. Toyota also plans to unveil new technologies that can help self-driving cars map the surrounding area in real-time, faster than what current cameras and radars allow. Yes, no matter how you look at it, self-driving cars are heading our way. But is that a good thing?

Should We Fear the RoboCar Revolution?

In July of 2015, one of Google’s self-driving beta vehicles was involved in a car accident. This is not unique, as there have been several before, but it was the first one to involve passenger injury. At first glance, this news story sounds frightful, but take a closer look and things seem to be fine. All injuries were minor and the Google-mobile was rear-ended at an intersection, placing no liability on the autonomous car. In fact, Google boasts that none of the accidents involving their prototypes have ever been caused by the self-driving vehicle’s behavior or control.

So far, self-driving cars do seem to be much better at driving than the typical human being. If the technology keeps improving and the tests remain promising, smart, self-driving cars could potentially eliminate nearly all car accidents, whether they be caused commonplace human error or more negligent acts like drinking and driving. It will truly be a red letter day when there are no traffic collisions in America.

That ideal is still far away, though. Even with advancing technology, glitches and errors happen. Self-driving cars are bound to cause an accident here and there, and the question will be then: “Who is to blame?” How do you find fault in an accident that didn’t involve any human interaction? The blame might fall on the manufacturers of the vehicle, the self-driving guidance, or any other third party. Only one thing can be said for sure: personal injury cases stemming from self-driving cars are sure to require the cleverness of sharp-witted and experienced lawyers.

Do you need the help of a Midland-Odessa car accident lawyer today? Contact Dean Law Firm! We are prepared to assist you from start to finish, through thick and thin, now and into the futuristic years beyond.