Internet giant Google supposedly has plans for self-driving vehicles to be on the roadways in Illinois and the rest of the nation within five years. Automobile safety regulators and insurance industry officials, however, are reportedly skeptical of the idea. Currently, approximately 33,000 individuals are killed in traffic accidents across the United States every year. According to David Strickland, Head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), self-driving vehicles would likely dramatically reduce the rate of traffic deaths nationwide. In addition, collision-avoidance technology is currently being utilized in a number of motor vehicles on the market today. Still, Strickland allegedly believes self-driving cars are unlikely to be ready for widespread use within Google’s optimistic time-frame.
Anthony Levandowski, a Product Manager for Google’s self-driving technology, stated the company believes it has the ability to create passenger vehicles that operate on the nation’s roadways in a safer manner than humans do. Levandowski said the biggest challenge for the company will be ensuring vehicle reliability in a variety of conditions as any failure would leave a self-driving auto with no one at the wheel to control it. Additionally, such a vehicle must be programmed to account for individual system failures and unexpected external events such as a child running into the street.
Currently, Google’s self-driving automobile is allowed on roadways in California, Florida, and Nevada for testing purposes. Thus far, Google has not publicly discussed producing self-driving vehicles for sale to consumers. A spokesperson for Google stated the company’s current focus is on the futuristic vehicle’s underlying technology.
Many of the nation’s current car safety standards reportedly date back to the 1970s. New technology such as self-driving automobiles would likely pose a regulatory challenge for the NHTSA. In addition, auto accident fault in situations that involve self-driving vehicle failures would likely be difficult to ascertain. Robert Hartwig, President of the Insurance Information Institute, said despite Google’s current goals it could easily take 20 years for truly autonomous vehicles to be found on the nation’s roadways.
In the future, new technology may reduce the often life-altering injuries sustained by drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists who are involved in a traffic accident. Although the Illinois Vehicle Code requires all motorists to drive with care, collisions still occur. Distracted, reckless, inattentive, or simply negligent drivers cause thousands of automobile accidents each year. Last year alone, nearly 1,000 people in Illinois were killed in an avoidable motor vehicle crash. If you were the victim of a traffic wreck that was caused by another driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact a quality personal injury lawyer to help you protect your rights.
If you or someone you love was the victim in a Chicago car accident, please call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 924-7575. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our experienced Chicago Metro personal injury attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to answer your questions and help you file your case. To speak with a hardworking personal injury lawyer today, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
Red Light Camera Battle Rages in Illinois and Across Nation, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 27, 2013
Proposed Federal Law Would Require Data Recorders in All New Vehicles Sold in Illinois and Nationwide, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 21, 2013
Google, regulators at odds over timing of self-driving cars, by Angela Greiling Keane, autonews.com