Self-driving cars and automated travel have been popular elements in science fiction for decades. With enhancements in computerized intelligence and robotics, however, such concepts are quickly becoming reality. Just how popular these vehicles will become remains to be seen, but so far California has moved to adopt regulations to test and even deploy fully automated vehicles throughout the state. This is a major first step in demonstrating the viability of self-driving cars, and as these tests proceed, there will likely be repercussions across the U.S.
Who Wouldn’t Want a Self-Driving Car?
It’s undeniable that there is a desire for cars that at least have the potential to drive themselves.
Anyone who has ever been stuck in traffic, waiting seemingly forever only to move a few feet and then wait some more, has dreamed of owning a car that would do all the work. Self-driving cars would allow occupants to travel from one place to another without constantly being in control of the vehicle. While this has long been held as a fantasy, there are several companies currently developing and beginning to test these vehicles on public roads.
California at the Forefront
California has thus far been the leader in testing self-driving cars. California also happens to be the worst state in the country regarding time spent in traffic, with people in Los Angeles averaging more than three days every year just sitting in their cars, waiting to move. Little wonder that such conditions would make automation a logical solution, since self-driving cars should require less distance between them. Automation could also give occupants the ability to do other things when waiting in traffic is unavoidable.
Regulations have been passed in California that allow automated vehicles to be tested under certain conditions on public roads. Early tests have produced mixed results, but progress is marching on.
Many states look to California to see how these regulations and tests work out, and watch the state deal with issues such as insurance, reliability, and safety. Manufacturers currently have to apply for permits to test their vehicles in California, while ongoing public hearings allow citizens to voice concerns and ensure city streets remain as safe as possible.
Until self-driving cars prove they are safe and reliable, and begin deploying throughout the country, vehicles will continue to have human drivers. That means there is always the potential for human error, so call Car Accident Help if you have been in a crash recently. Talk to our Oklahoma car accident attorneys today at (405) 285-4357 to discuss your situation and learn about your options.