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The Future Of Driving In Minnesota With Driverless Cars On The Road

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2016 | Injuries |

Without a doubt, the roads in Central Minnesota have changed over the last few years. One of the biggest examples is the way people arrange rides through online services such as Uber and Lyft. These apps provide GPS navigation for people to see where their ride is and often provide nicer cars for cheaper fares than a traditional taxi company. These companies have raked in billions in revenue and have churned this money into the development of driverless cars.

The Government Is Already Wondering What To Do About Them

Recently, the government released a list of recommendations to ensure that driverless cars are truly ready to hit the streets when they come to communities outside of major metropolitan areas. Primarily, there are safety concerns about whether these autonomous cars will be ready for the wide range of conditions on Minnesota roads. But there are also legal issues that will have to be addressed before their widespread use is allowed. Primary among the legal concerns is who will be responsible for damages in the event of an accident involving a car without a driver behind the wheel? Will the car owner be held liable? Or the manufacturer? 

Massive Testing Is Required 

The United States Transportation Department released a detailed safety assessment that will govern the testing of driverless cars prior to rolling them out on the roads. Companies manufacturing driverless cars will be required to submit results that demonstrate compliance with this checklist prior to introducing their cars to the road. One of the most important parts of the checklist is how the company will prevent people from hacking into their cars.

While this sounds like good oversight, many people don’t realize that these guidelines are exactly that- guidelines. These recommendations do not carry any legal force or backing behind them. This is because those in charge of federal highway regulations are worried that by the time the regulations are made into law, technology will have made these regulations obsolete. This would start the entire process over again and result in new technology not covered by current rules.

Collaboration Between Manufacturers Will Be Important

Instead of issuing firm regulations, the US Government is encouraging all companies developing driverless cars to collaborate. They want data on accidents between the companies rolled into a giant database, from which anyone can draw information to develop into improved safety plans. While this would be ideal, different states have different regulations regarding licenses, registration, and even traffic laws. Insurance companies are naturally nervous over the liability issues arising from an accident. 

Driverless Cars Are Already On The Road -Despite Many Remaining Questions

While legislators continue to bicker over how to regulate the driverless car industry. Uber has already released its first driverless cars on the roads. In certain cities, people can request a driverless Uber car. Because these cars are still experimental, there is a backup driver located in the seat. People in Uber who have been loyal Uber customers have the option to ride in a driverless car. Uber is analyzing the data from these driverless rides and finding ways to build on the result to eventually have an entire fleet of driverless cars.

Hire An Experienced Central Minnesota Car Accident Lawyer If Injured

On the other hand, driverless cars are machine and machines do break down. If parts fail, it is important to have a driver in the seat to strike the seats or take emergent action. With a driverless car, this might not happen, which could result in severe injuries. In addition, driverless cars have to maintain some sort of communication with the internet for communicating with entities such as Uber or crash databases. Internet connections can be hacked. Someone can take control of a driverless car and intentionally crash it unless certain exorbitant demands are met. These are all important problems that can result in personal injury.

When someone is injured in a car accident, medical expenses can quickly pile up. Hospital bills can place substantial financial stress on families who might have legal grounds for compensation from certain individuals or companies who failed to adequately protect others on the road.

For the best results in personal injury matters, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help with these cases. Individuals should not have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s mistakes. For those injured in car accidents, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today for more information.