The Autonomous Vehicle Revolution Is Here. But Are We Ready?

A rising tide lifts all boats. But will the autonomous vehicle revolution lift everyone in our transportation system? It depends, according to a recent report published by The Greenlining Institute, an Oakland based public policy advocacy organization. The report, titled “Autonomous Vehicle Heaven or Hell? Creating A Transportation Revolution that Benefits All” provides an in-depth analysis of the benefits, costs, policy issues, and solutions for the self-driving industry becoming a mainstay in our rapidly changing society. In the last decade, the rapid development of self-driving technology and autonomous vehicles has introduced a new set of rules for the road.

One of the primary concerns for industry experts is who will this revolution (and its new rules) benefit. Again, it depends. After all, with great power comes great responsibility. And as more self-driving cars get on the road, one larger question remains: how will self-driving cars enhance and prioritize personal and public safety for all people, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and passengers? On one hand, the benefit from self-driving cars is obvious: less pollution, less traffic, less gridlock, shorter commutes, and more overall access to transportation. On the other hand, the more self-driving cars on the road, the higher the chances are of a collision occurring.

In a personal injury context, when it comes to autonomous vehicles, public safety is and should be the number one issue, especially considering the dizzying number of traffic-related injuries and deaths that occur on our roadways each year. And that trend likely won’t stop when self-driving cars are the norm. For example, in March 2018, an Uber self-driving car’s technology sensors failed timely brake before striking and ultimately killing a pedestrian crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona. The system did not emergency brake in time because the emergency braking maneuvers were disabled by an off-site computer. And without any emergency alert system, the human backup driver was not aware of the impending impact and did not intervene in time. With this tragic fatality caused by a self-driving car, it should be clear that self-driving technology and autonomous vehicles are a double-edged sword. As such, industry experts should heed the in-depth analysis and solutions outlined in the Greenlining Institute’s report, with an emphasis on ensuring public safety for all people.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries and damages from an accident with an autonomous vehicle or from self-driving technology, please contact the experienced lawyers at the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner can assist with your claim. Call today at (713) 222-7211 or 713-222-7211 for your free consultation.