Self-driving cars have been much anticipated by many Louisiana motorists. Many manufacturers believe that autonomous cars will be widely available across the United States within the next decade. Other observers are not so sure. There are a variety of problems facing the market, one of the most significant being questions regarding accidents and liability.
Just about everyone agrees that autonomous cars are supposed to be safer. A computer-controlled car can't get emotional, it can't drive drunk and it can't be distracted by a cell phone. Since an overwhelming majority of car accidents are caused by human error, cars that don't have these flaws would logically result in a dramatic decrease in accidents. Experts also claim that large numbers of autonomous cars would decrease congestion because they would be able to drive closer together safely.
That said, autonomous cars would be far from accident proof. There is a greater possibility of technical failure or malfunction. There are many ethical questions about what a car would do when forced to make a choice about who gets injured in an accident. Will the car maneuver to strike a pedestrian or another car, or will it crash the car into an object and possibly injure the passengers? A fully autonomous car also requires a great deal of information to navigate. This is provided by a combination of GPS, sensors and digital mapping. Gathering this information brings up problems with privacy.
There are still many unknowns regarding car accidents with self-driving cars, and the complicated answers to some of these questions may delay their development and widespread use. Despite the possibly bumpy road ahead, autonomous vehicles are not going away. Drivers will need to face the liability issues and unknowns of this technology and may need legal assistance if they are injured in an accident involving one.