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Clarifying Issues With Self-Driving Cars in California

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

One of the biggest hurdles to the adoption of autonomous cars is determining who might be liable in the event of a crash. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the software guiding the car would be considered the driver instead of anyone in the car. According to an analyst from Kelley Blue Book, it could make it easier to put self-driving cars on the road.

There are still many hurdles that may need to be overcome before self-driving cars operate on public roads. First, California is considering rules that would require such a vehicle to have a steering wheel and be occupied by a licensed driver. According to plans submitted by Google, a self-driving car would have no steering wheel. The company says this reduces the odds of anyone overriding the discretion of the vehicle.

Other issues include requirements that braking systems in cars can be operated by foot. There are also questions as to whether or not dashboard alerts that the vehicle may receive should be shared with human occupants in a self-driving vehicle. The NHTSA is expected to complete proposed rules regarding these vehicles within six months, and the agency may also seek authority to allow the large release of self-driving vehicles when it is deemed safe to do so.

Right now, people operate their automobiles, and many car accidents are caused by distracted or drunk drivers. Victims of these types of incidents often face lengthy periods of expensive medical care and treatment. A personal injury attorney can often be of assistance in seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist on behalf of such a victim for these and other losses.