Some experts predict that autonomous vehicles will dominate roadways by 2040. That event will bring lifestyle changes not seen since the Ford Model T. Your morning and afternoon commute will become work time or leisure time as opposed to the current stress time! DUIs, car accidents, and traffic tickets will decrease. That could mean car insurance rates will hopefully go down.
2040 is not very far away (it’s closer to us than 1990). So, many governments are getting ahead of the curve and enacting driverless car regulations.
Why Regulate Driverless Cars
Laws already exist that govern a car’s physical makeup, such as the mandatory seat belt law and airbags. Most roadway safety laws focus on drivers, since driver error causes almost all car wrecks. In the driverless car age, that focus will shift dramatically. One point to consider is:
- Security: There will almost certainly be hackers who simply want to see driverless cars crash or prove to themselves that they can hack into the system. These individuals do not want money or anything else. That odd motivation will make security a key issue and make the concept difficult to guarantee.
Cars are prone to human error. Every day we see people driving while looking at their cell phones. It is shameful and illegal in most states. Autonomous driving cars are intended to alleviate that safety concern. While the goal is admirable and the idea to cut down on accidents should hopefully come to fruition, we must be mindful that no plan is 100% error-free. We have seen accidents already and therefore some states are acting to regulate the industry.
Some State Rules
In 2012, Nevada was the first state to enact a driverless car law.
As of March 2018, legislatures in twenty-two states have enacted laws that regulate and approve driverless cars. Governors in ten other states have issued executive orders on the subject. Some highlights include:
- Florida allows autonomous vehicles that do not have human drivers in them at all. It also exempts driverless cars from a number of safety tests.
- Governors in Idaho, Hawaii, and Maine ordered state agencies to actively pursue options regarding driverless cars.
- Alabama’s law authorizes driverless truck “platoons” and exempts trailing vehicles from the following-too-closely law.
- New York set up provisions for extended driverless car testing.
For more information on driverless cars, and specifically how they affect your rights in an accident, contact a nearby attorney, like a personal injury lawyer.