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New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers | Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous Vehicles

Technological advances meant to simplify everyday tasks are sweeping the nation, but they do not come without drawbacks. One of the most controversial improvements is the introduction of autonomous vehicles, also referred to as robo-taxis. Because this technology is new and extensive testing is still needed, many people are concerned with the immediate societal impacts these self-driving vehicles could have.

Unveiling a massive number of autonomous vehicles on the road can cause a number of challenges including major job losses for commercial drivers, as well as a surplus of traffic linked to robo-drivers. Ethical decisions also come into play and researchers wonder what will happen when autonomous vehicles encounter no-win situations. In one such scenario, a pedestrian would intercept the path of a self-driving vehicle, and the computer system in the vehicle would have to decide whether to hit the pedestrian, or swerve and possibly hit pedestrians on a crowded sidewalk instead. Although seemingly far-fetched, this dilemma could become a rapidly deployed epidemic if it happens in the real world and goes viral.

The Center for Automotive Research at Stanford, along with philosophy professor, Patrick Lin, at the California Polytechnic State University, says they have been conducting beta tests relating to this real world ethical dilemma. The problem, however, is that testing is done with few regulations and laws considered, and any issues arising would only affect the computer system involved. The issue becomes much more convoluted when unleashed real-time and on a larger scale to the public because car accidents will involve human lives and not just a computer system.

Lin recently discussed the effects that a different computer-based technological advance has had to show how beta testing cannot encompass all real-world factors that become present over long-term use. He claims the popular navigation app, Waze, had led way to flocking behavior by way of algorithms. Flocking is used to refer to high car volumes being sent through quiet, low-traffic neighborhoods in an effort to route them around major highway traffic. Hypothetically, property values could begin to decrease due to a traffic influx on these once quiet streets. Similarly, flocking can also pose a safety risk to children playing on the streets. There are too many external factors to consider for beta testing to be fully encompassed before being released to the public.

One of the prime challenges with unleashing autonomous vehicles to the public is pinpointing who will inevitably be responsible for car crashes. A variety of contributors are involved in the development of this advanced technology, including sensor and mapmakers, automakers, and software developers. This makes it difficult to ascertain who the guilty party should be if an incident occurs. Self-driving vehicles are already being used real-time as automakers scramble to put guidelines in place regarding who will be responsible for faults that occur with their robo-vehicles. By bringing light to these issues, Lin hopes developers will reflect more on implications their designs can have on external factors.

New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Are on Your Side

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we know car accidents can have a catastrophic effect on everyday life, and that is why our experienced lawyers fight for financial compensation to help you recover. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or submit an online inquiry to speak with a New Brunswick car accident lawyer. We have over 40 years of experience advocating for personal injury victims. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Highland Park, Edison, Somerset, New Brunswick, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South River, Sayreville, South Plainfield, Fords, Iselin, Old Bridge, Middlesex, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

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