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Self Driving Motor Vehicles - Automated Driving

Self Driving Car With technology and advances, new legal cases, issues, precedents, and laws develop. For instance, at the turn of the century from the 1800s to the 1900s, the main form of transportation for individuals was essentially horse and buggy. Over time, motor vehicles took over the roadways. Motor vehicle transportation went from a rare site to the norm. Along the way, laws needed to develop to address the risks, dangers, and responsibilities of motor vehicle ownership and operation. Laws developed for the protection of the general public including but not limited to children, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Certainly, the world developed at a rapid pace with the use and operation of motor vehicles. Unfortunately, through time, far too many people were injured and far too many people died as a result of the negligent operation of motor vehicles and the negligent design of motor vehicles. Certainly, from a technological standpoint, we should continue to have products and devices developed for us; however, it must be done so with due care keeping in mind that technology and profit should not take priority over safe design. This brings us to the topic of the day (among others) of Self Driving Motor Vehicles.

A Florida Automobile Accident that was reported throughout the media was a Florida Automobile Accident that took place in Williston, Florida on May 7, 2016 in which a driver (Joshua Brown) of a Tesla died. At the time of the crash, the Tesla was in the Autopilot Mode. It was reported that the cameras on the Telsa had difficulty distinguishing between the white side of a turning semi tractor trailer and the bright lit sky. Motor vehicle - Self Driving or Auto Pilot Technology - is still under development and improvement. Even the manufacturers will concede that the technology is not perfect. As such, it is a bit dangerous for any driver to wholly or mostly rely on the Auto Pilot mode when occupying a motor vehicle as a driver. As such, one could argue that the use and availability of the Auto Pilot mode may be a bit premature at this point in time because the “Artificial Intelligence” or “Machine Learning” is still developing.

The human eye and brain are still far more complex for recognizing, classifying, and categorizing objects and conditions encountered during the operation of the a motor vehicle than the smart camera or computers currently in place on technologically advanced vehicles like Tesla motor vehicles.

Even though the laws will develop and change with the times as to Self Driving Vehicles or Auto Pilot Vehicles, it is expected the the same four elements to establish a tort or negligence case will continue to be the basis of the developing laws. From the horse and buggy days to the present time and beyond, the four elements are:

  1. Duty;
  2. Breach of Duty;
  3. Causation; and
  4. Damages

The duty of the operator of a motor vehicle is to drive in a reasonably safe manner. Is it reasonably safe to put a vehicle on Auto Pilot and then take a nap only to wake up in the aftermath of a serious automobile accident or automobile crash? Is it reasonably safe at this point in time to depend on the auto pilot or self driving mode of any motor vehicle in light of the flaws and development issues with the technology? There are also the duties of the manufacturers as to the features placed on vehicles that are not quite safe to use out there for the general public on the roads, highways, streets, and neighborhoods. What will not change over time is the element of Damages. The element of Damages refers to the personal injuries and wrongful death that result from the negligence, carelessness, and fault of individuals, businesses, and government entities when there is a motor vehicle accident or an automobile accident.

When a person suffers injuries as a result of an automobile accident or motor vehicle crash, the injury victim and the family of the injury victim should contact a Personal Injury Attorney for advice, consultation, and when appropriate legal representation. David Wolf has been serving his clients and the community for over 30 years as a personal injury attorney and safety advocate. He is the author of a number of books that focus on the issues of personal injury and safety. Contact David Wolf today to discuss your potential case, legal rights, and recommend course of action. Get D Wolf - On Your Side - At Your Side.

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