If you have ever been on one of those long drives, taking the family home for the holidays or heading out of town for a business conference, you have probably entertained the fantasy of clicking on “auto-pilot” and checking out for a while. That fantasy may be reality sooner than you think. Industry experts believe that we could see the first signs of that in as little as four years, and the first self-driving vehicles could roll off the lines in about 15 years.
This new technology has ramifications in many aspects of daily life; one of the more pressing being safety issues. How will this affect potential driver safety in Colorado Springs? Read on to find out how this technology stands now and in the future, and learn how a car accident lawyer might be beneficial for you.
The Beginnings of Self-Driving Technology
The technology has been in existence for quite sometime now. Automated systems such as adaptive cruise control has been around, in primitive form, since the mid-1990s. Safety features such as blind-spot alert, brake assist and lane assist are becoming available amenities on models and trim levels across the automotive industry. These systems can literally override the driver and apply brakes, steer the wheel or control acceleration, all in the name of keeping drivers safe.
While some of these features only work at low speeds or for a brief amount of time, the technology, at least in rudimentary stages, is there. Furthermore, these safety systems are seeing growth every year, due to high demand by the consumers.
Preventing Accidents with Smarter Cars
There are many benefits to this new tech, including saving lives. According to one study, this technology could decrease the rate of accidents to a tenth its current number, thereby saving hundreds of billions of dollars every year and thousands of lives. Essentially, self-driving cars eliminate human error from the equation, which, as any insurance company will tell you, is the primary reason for high insurance rates.
The existing technology, with certain models and insurance companies, already offer discounted rates just for adding these improved safety features. Industry insiders clearly believe that advancing this technology even further will reduce the potential for car accidents exponentially.
The Dangers of Self-Driving Cars
On the flipside of the potential safety boon of self-driving cars is the fact that no technology is perfect. Tests have already shown that these vehicles do not perform as well under less than ideal conditions, such as adverse weather. That creates a worrisome scenario, as the unpredictability of self-driving automation could lead to a number of negative results.
Furthermore, the software that guides these vehicles relies heavily on GPS maps and satellite information. However, not all of the roads in the US are properly mapped; some are also outdated, as road construction is a truly evolutionary process. This could lead to cars getting lost, being involved in collisions or even cars running off the road.
Without proper guidance, the self-driving vehicle becomes a potentially huge liability to the safety of its passengers.
Contacting a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer
This technology will continue to progress over the next several years and is nowhere near consumer-ready. At Heuser & Heuser, we are continuing to monitor this ongoing process. We know how important safety is to drivers in Colorado Springs and take particular interest in safety measures across the automotive industry.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us today. We offer 24/7 online consultation and free case review. We have decades of experience representing clients just like you, so don’t hesitate to contact Heuser & Heuser today, your Colorado Springs car accident lawyer.