Self-Driving Cars and Safety
The future of the auto industry seems to be in self-driving cars and trucks, also known as autonomous vehicles. By some estimates as soon as the year 2030, 60 percent of all cars sold in the United States could be self-driving vehicles.
Any new technology needs time to work out any product defects, and self-driving cars are no exception. The Tesla company is one of the front runners in developing autonomous vehicles and started testing its cars on California roads in 2016. Tesla founder Elon Musk has promised that by the end of 2017 they will demonstrate an autonomous road trip from Los Angeles to New York.
In May 2016, the first fatality involving a self-driving car occurred in Florida. The driver was using the auto-pilot function of the Tesla Model S when the car had an accident with a tractor-trailer. The top of the car was torn open when it drove under the trailer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation which determined that that there was no safety related defect. However the report’s conclusion noted that after Autosteer installation, the crash rate of Tesla vehicles dropped by almost 40 percent.
According to the NHTSA, human error accounts for 90 percent of all car accidents. Aggressive driving, speeding, drunk driving, drowsy driving, and distracted driving are all human behaviors that cause crashes. This is why with the help of technology, companies see the future of cars as self-driving. In 2015 alone there were 4.4 million car accidents in the United States. The goal is to significantly reduce that number and therefore the number of injuries resulting from accidents. Experts anticipate that semi and eventually fully autonomous vehicles will be much safer than regular human driving.
Apple Joins the Race
California has a long list of companies approved to test autonomous vehicles. Apple just joined the group that includes companies such as Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen. Japanese carmakers Nissan and Honda are on the list as are tech companies Google and Baidu.
Although Apple registered for a permit to test autonomous vehicles, it is still unclear if it is developing its own vehicle, or the software to run one for an existing vehicle. For years Apple has been working in secrecy on Project Titan which is purportedly a self-driving car project, but no one knows for sure as Apple refuses to confirm its existence. Apple’s permit from the California DMV is for three Lexus RX crossovers. Six drivers are permitted to use the vehicles. Under the permit program, California requires companies to report their disengagement rates to the DMV. This data is then made public. There are many companies who have obtained permits who have not yet reported any miles driven. If Apple files any reports, then their intentions with regard to self-driving cars will become clearer.
New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Victims of Negligent Drivers
Until we are all using self-driving cars, there will always be human error responsible for car accidents. If you or someone you love suffered injuries due to the negligence of anNew Brunswick Car Accident Lawyersother driver, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, our New Brunswick car accident lawyers will fight for your case. Call 877-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are in Highland Park, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout the state including the communities of New Brunswick, Edison, Somerset, South River, Sayreville and Middlesex.