Safety issues with self-driving cars have been minor

Louisiana is one of the many states that has been mulling the legalities associated with self-driving cars. Recent test cases on the highways of America have given some reasons for concern, but there has also been a great deal of reassuring evidence.

Although there have been accidents involving self-driving cars, and one has even been stopped by the police, none of the accidents have been serious. However, these cars have been having problems with minor issues, such as refusing to pass or driving too slowly. The manufacturers of self-driving cars have pointed out that these are safety features. The cars are designed to drive slowly, cautiously and with a wide margin of error at all times.

The companies point out that it will be difficult to teach the cars to take a flexible approach to the law in the same situations when a human driver might. For example, it is sometimes appropriate to cross a double yellow line in the middle of a road in order to go around a bicycle on the shoulder. However, it is difficult to communicate this concept in programming language. Manufacturers are aware that driving is a social experience, and navigating the road safely requires knowledge of social practices that have been difficult to translate to a robot.

Anyone who has been injured in a car crash with a self-driving car may be able to seek compensation from the manufacturer. It may be helpful to consult with an attorney in order to determine the ramifications of such a case, the liability which one might be able to expect from the manufacturer and the best way to file a civil suit.

Source: Bloomberg, "Humans Are Slamming Into Driverless Cars and Exposing a Key Flaw" Keith Naughton, Dec. 17, 2015

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