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Driverless Cars & the Difficulties They Present

Tuesday, Jan. 12th 2016

In today’s world technological advancements happen everyday, and often times they make our world safer. Not long ago, self-driving cars seemed like science fiction, but now you can find them on streets in many states. All our rules about driving — from who pays for a speeding ticket to who is liable for a crash — are based on having a human behind the wheel. That is going to have to change.There are some compelling reasons to support self-driving cars. Regular cars are inefficient: the average commuter spends 250 hours a year behind the wheel. They are dangerous. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for Americans ages 4 to 34 and cost some $300 billion a year.

The idea of self-driving cars as a means of reducing accidents and congestion has been around for a long time. The technology is arriving in installments as car-makers introduce sophisticated “assisted driving” features as options, even on mass-market models. Buyers of the some mid-sized cars can now leave them to drive themselves and maintain a safe distance in steady traffic. The cars can measure a parking space and steer themselves into it. They read road signs and admonish the driver if he breaks the speed limit. Such gadgetry also increasingly makes decisions on the driver’s behalf and overrules him in an emergency, for instance, braking to avoid a crash.

Other technologies are beginning to make this easier. First, the mechanical links between the controls and the working parts are progressively being replaced by electronic ones. Second, cars now have a rudimentary version of “black box” data recorders to collect information on the moments just before an accident. Insurers have already begun to offer discounts to motorists who agree to have more sophisticated ones that monitor their driving all the time.

With all this technology out there you have to ask yourself whether these advancements should be placed in all cars in order to make our roadways as safe as possible. This question will likely be answered in the near future as these advancements become cheaper to install making them an option most drivers opt to pay for. With this the law will have to advance at a rapid rate to answer the many questions that will arise because of increases in technology.

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