What are the pros and cons of Self-Driving Cars?
The future may not have given us flying cars yet, but it has given us self-driving cars - sort of.
Researchers, developers, and autonomous vehicle (AV) enthusiasts have been attempting autonomous-driving capabilities since the ’80s. With Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Team taking the lead in 1984, their NAV LAB AV projects were a breakthrough.
Now, fast forward to 2023 and 30 million cars later - the status quo seems to be gearing more towards a driverless society. Promises of safer roads - with less human error, and quicker and more productive commutes, all seem to be the vision of current car manufacturers like Tesla, Mercedes, and General Motors. But what are the drawbacks of ditching human-controlled cars?
The questions then become clearer. Are self-driving cars the best route for our next chapter of automotive transportation? What are the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages? Who’s liable in a self-driving car accident?
Our dedicated team at West Coast Trial Lawyers has compiled some positive and negative aspects fundamental to Self-Driving Cars in California.
Read below and feel free to mention these pointers in your next heated debate about driverless cars.
The Pros of Self-Driving Cars
Every five seconds, a car crash occurs, and 98% of those crashes are from Human error. Self-driving cars are designed to mitigate this risk. The advanced AI and sensor technology in autonomous vehicles, such as Lidar, can detect potential road hazards and adjust course in real time. Evading and dodging objects autonomously potentially leads to safer roads and fewer accidents.
Mobility For the Masses
One of the most life-changing benefits of driverless cars is the ability to offer the elderly, disabled, or those who are unable to drive the opportunity to travel independently.
Great for Traffic Management
By communicating with each other through enhanced A.I and traffic management systems, self-driving cars could significantly improve traffic flow and reduce congestion. This future intelligent A.I navigation system could optimize road capacity and travel times.
Self-driving vehicles, especially SD electric cars, can bring about a greener future. Getting from point A to Point B with optimized route planning and fuel efficiency could significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Productivity and Convenience
Imagine being able to work, entertain yourself, or even sleep during your commute. That's the future with self-driving cars. Why focus on driving when you could be watching Netflix or taking Zoom calls on your way to the office?
The Cons of Self-Driving Cars
Recently, autonomous technology, like artificial intelligence, has advanced significantly, but it’s still not perfect. Self-driving cars can sometimes struggle to handle weird or complex driving situations, including unexpected obstacles, narrow, convoluted streets, or challenging weather conditions. Computers tend to malfunction and are not impervious to errors. Just one glitch can result in a terrible accident!
The rise of self-driving cars could lead to job losses in sectors that rely heavily on human drivers. This includes truck, taxi, delivery, and Uber / Lyft drivers. Millions of drivers could be at risk of being displaced by these vehicles.
The advanced technology that makes self-driving cars possible opens up new cybersecurity risks. There are concerns that these vehicles could be susceptible to hacking.
Self-Driving Cars are Expensive
Driverless cars come with high price tags. Although these costs are expected to decrease over time, the initial investment can be a significant barrier for many consumers. Insurance costs alone can be unaffordable for some drivers.
Legal and Insurance Woes
With new technology comes new legal and insurance challenges. In an accident involving a self-driving car, it can be challenging to determine who is at fault - the car manufacturer, the car owner, or someone else.
Who’s Liable in a Self-Driving Car Accident?
According to the stipulations of California Vehicle Code 38750, all self-driving cars are required to have a safety alert mechanism. This system is intended to notify the operator in case there is a malfunction in the autonomous technology. Furthermore, the operator must be capable of assuming complete command of the self-driving car if needed.
On the other hand, in cases where an autonomous vehicle accident results from a manufacturing error, flawed design, or inadequate instructions for anticipated usage, the company responsible for creating the self-driving car could potentially bear the liability for any ensuing damages.
Are all self-driving cars electric?
While many self-driving cars are electric, we’d like to point out that not all are. The technology that makes a car drive autonomously is separate from the technology that powers the car's propulsion system, whether gas or hydrogen. Technically, when you think about it, the cruise control feature in most gas-powered cars is a very primitive form of autonomous driving.
Injured in a Driverless Car Accident? Call on West Coast Trial Lawyers
Our top-rated law firm has some of the most prolific self-driving car accident attorneys and trial lawyers in California. We are former federal prosecutors and super lawyers that have come together to give accident victims access to world-class legal representation with no upfront costs or fees.
In 2021 alone, there were over 400 driverless car crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 5 deaths and 6 critical injuries out of the 400 accidents. If you happen to be involved in a self-driving car accident, call 888-997-3519 for a free consultation or fill out this online form.
It should be noted that we have yet to accomplish full self-driving (FSD) capabilities in commercial car production. Tesla currently has only 400,000 FSD vehicles in circulation. Alphabet group’s Waymo only has 25,000 driverless cars on the streets. Mind you, all of these cars are still in beta testing and not ready for mass-scale public release as of June 2023.
If you are lucky enough to be testing or using these self-driving cars, be sure to still wear your seatbelt and call on WCTL if any issues arise.
They know what they're doing, very well. Not only did I not make a single phone call from the day I hired them, but I also received calls from their case managers and paralegals who want to make sure my treatment was going well. They whole team took care of me. Thank you WCTL for taking full responsibility of my case and getting me an amazing settlement.
I can say with confidence that this team is the best in the business. . . . Dean took the time to really listen and hear me out. He assured me that he was going to move mountains because he believed in me, and he ended up doing just that. I’ve never met a more focused and passionate attorney in my life. If you’re looking for a firm that treats its clients with the utmost respect and care, calling WCTL is a no-brainer. I wouldn't think twice about working with them again in the future.