San Francisco-Oakland Injury Attorney Comments on Driverless Cars

German scientists have unveiled a self-driving car. They say that the days of humans behind the wheel are numbered, that the cars of today are the horses of yesterday, and that this new technology can slash accidents and help the environment. In addition they claim this new technology will sharply reduce the number of cars on the road, suggesting that people will no longer need their own vehicles so much and will used driverless cars pooled in car-share schemes, instead. They predict that the new technology could be applied to private areas like airports in 10 years, on motorways in 10-20 years, and in cities (once all the obstacles are removed) in 23-30 years. The cars, called the “Made in Germany (MIG), use cameras, laser scanners, heat sensors and satellite navigation to see other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians, and respond to traffic lights.
Google engineers have recently introduced their own driverless car that uses artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver. So far seven test cars have driven 1,000 miles without human intervention, although someone was behind the wheel in case something went awry, and more than 140,000 miles with only occasional human control. Google’s researchers do not have a clear plan on how to create a business plan using the cars, but the project’s inventor, 43 year old director of Stanford Artificial Intelligence laboratory, Google engineer, and co-inventor of the Street View mapping service, is a passionate promoters of the use of robotic vehicles to make highways safer and lower the nation’s energy costs, which also happens to be a commitment shared by Google’s co-founder Larry Page.
Here at the Brod Law Firm we think these cars are a great idea in regards to public safety. For example a human can only see one or two cars in front of them, while these driverless cars can see in all directions at a range of 70 yards. At the same time however, it still remains to be seen how reliable they will turn out to be. Also this technology brings up legal questions. Current law currently states that a human must be in control of a car at all times. So what does it mean if a human is not really driving the car, say, when the car malfunctions and gets into an accident? Google researchers claim to have figured that one out; they say they have carefully examined California’s motor vehicle regulations and determined that because a human driver can override any error, the experimental cars are legal.