Once only a prop in sci-fi films, self-driving vehicles are just on the horizon. Auto manufacturers are continuously developing, designing, and searching for new options to offer consumers that will make their products more attractive.
Many companies are rushing to develop and market autonomous vehicles. Some of the manufacturers who have made major strides in developing autonomous vehicles include General Motors, Google, Tesla, and Uber.
Many models of vehicles already have some of these self-driving features, such as automatic braking, self-parking, and automatic lane changes. But the real push is to develop vehicles that are fully autonomous. There are several hindrances to these types of vehicles, including cost considerations and limitations of current technology.
However, studies show that there is another strong reason for the lack of self-driving vehicles in the current market and that is the attitude that many people in this country have about them. Multiple studies and surveys reveal that a great number of Americans are not too excited about self-driving vehicles, concerned that instead of saving lives, these vehicles will actually contribute to more vehicle accidents and more car accident injuries.
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However, even if the market eventually offers a driverless vehicle in the near future, many consumers say they would not be interested in owning one. In one Gallup poll, a whopping 75 percent said they would stick to vehicles that are not autonomous. And more than half said they would never use a self-driving car, even if they become popular with other drivers.
Women are more steadfast in their reluctance than men are, with 60 percent of female drivers voicing negative answers compared to 45 percent of men.
The older a driver also seems to make a difference in how comfortable with a driver is. Drivers under the age of 50 have a more positive outlook about self-driving vehicles, compared to those who are over the age of 50.
Liability in Self-Driving Vehicle Accidents
As these vehicles become available to the public, there will need to be changes in federal and state laws that will determine the rules and regulations for oversight of these vehicles, as well as how accident liability will be determined in the event of the crash. Currently, the following federal agencies are involved in coming up and implementing any laws needed for this oversight:
- United States Department of Transportation (US DOT)
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA has already implemented Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, the SELF Driving Act, and American Vision for Safer Transportation Through Advancement of Revolutionary Technology Act (AV START).
Many states have enacted laws to address self-driving vehicles. In North Carolina, HB 469 was passed in 2017 which established regulations for autonomous vehicles (AV). Some of the regulations in this Act included the requirement of a special AV driver’s license is not required for the operator, requires an adult be in the vehicle if a person under the age of 12 is in the vehicle, and established the Fully Autonomous Vehicle Committee.
Contact a North Carolina Law Firm
Car crashes, whether caused by driver liability or a defective product, often result in serious injuries to victims. A North Carolina car accident attorney from Shapiro & Appleton can fight to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Contact our office for a free case evaluation and find out how we can help.