Your car will be driving itself pretty soon; some are already doing it on the roads of Babcock Ranch.
While COVID has introduced many of us to a brave new virtual world of Zoom calls and work-productivity apps, the auto industry continues to push innovation after innovation onto the roadways.
The driverless future is far from science fiction. In fact driverless cars, completely autonomous vehicles, are already a reality here in Southwest Florida. The investment press is watching closely and has made a number of startling predictions:
- In 20 years, there will be 33 million autonomous vehicles sold annually.
- There’s already a self-driving ridesharing service on the road, backed by Google, it offers self-driving rides in the Phoenix area.
- Driverless cars are expected to create a 7 trillion market while saving 30,000 of the 40,000 lives lost on the nation’s roads each year.
In-Car Technology New Frontier in Injury Law
But it’s the in-car technology becoming standard in new cars that also has the attention of safety advocates. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently published a study that concluded much of that technology holds great promise to save lives. However, the risk is that drivers will become complacent at the wheel, negating much of the expected benefit.
Known as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including adaptive cruise control (ACC), early research shows early benefit. At least until the driver gets used to relying upon such technology. When that happens, drivers may be more prone to engaging in secondary tasks and other distracted driving behaviors while at the wheel.
If you’ve been in a new vehicle lately, you’ve probably seen an increasing number of safety systems, from lane departure warnings, to voice automated vehicle controls, to GPS systems that monitor speed limits and notify you if you are speeding. On the highway, many new vehicles will also notify a driver it’s time to take a break if the vehicle’s computer notices erratic driving behavior, like frequent lane departures or failure to maintain consistent speed.
Our experienced car accident attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral recently posted about driver behaviors and attitudes that often cause or contribute to a collision, including distracted driving, drowsy driving, aggressive driving and impaired driving. Early indications are that this technology could save lives but is unlikely to absolve drivers of the imperative that all drivers pay attention and act responsibly at all times while operating a motor vehicle.
Advancing technology has complicated legal recovery on a number of fronts. First, there are already cases working their way through the court system that aim to determine who is responsible for technological defects – the auto industry or the dwindling number of high-tech companies like Apple and Google that are designing and selling such safety systems. These new technologies are also having an impact when it comes to determining accident causation.
Choosing a law firm with extensive experience in personal injury and wrongful death litigation is your best bet when it comes to securing compensation in the wake of an accident.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.