Self-Driving and Autonomous Systems Should Be Used to Assist and Not Replace Drivers
As attorneys who work with car accident victims, at Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas we have been keeping a close eye on the self-driving and autonomous systems throughout the state and the country. While some of these systems are being used on their own, evidence is constantly pointing to a simple fact: They should not be replacing real drivers but instead should be assisting them.
Read on to learn more about this opinion. If you have been injured in a car accident, whether it involved a self-driving car or not, we urge you to contact us at 877-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.
Auto safety groups urge caution
Several auto safety groups, including the respected Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, have cautioned drivers from using autopilot features on their own. They urge users to understand that they are not perfect and that an attentive driver is still required. In fact, they also state that certain systems are only made to be used under very specific situations.
A look at the manual for the Tesla Model S
To demonstrate this fact, they point to the manual for the Tesla Model S. It specifically states that though it does have autosteer, this feature is only meant to be used on roads with restricted use, such as freeways. Why? Because it works by keeping a vehicle between painted lines. If it is used on roads without such clearly marked lines, it may not be as safe as drivers think.
Advice from other auto manufacturers
Of course, Tesla is not the only company making self-driving and autonomous vehicles and features. Other companies making similar innovations are adding their own advice. Tesla’s most recent software update actually prompts drivers to put their hands on the steering wheel often. A Cadillac vehicle with similar features monitors drivers by using an infrared camera to confirm that they are facing the road. The Audi has a system that tracks where the driver and passenger looks.
Can these systems reduce accidents and deaths? It is not that simple
While there are real risks associated with self-driving cars, many point to the fact that thousands of people die every year in car accidents. So far, there have been a few fatal car accidents involving self-driving cars. It stands to reason that as more people use these features, there will be more accidents. The question remains: Is the overall reduction in accidents a good enough excuse to allow these imperfections on the road?
Call us right away if you are injured in a car accident
If you end up injured in any type of vehicle accident then your first step is to get medical attention. Once you have been treated, we urge you to contact a personal injury attorney to find out what your options are. You should do this even if you are offered a settlement from the insurance company. For a free legal consultation, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 877-982-0707.