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Self-Driving Cars Will Make Roads Safer, Engineers Say

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Are self-driving cars the way of the future? Google’s automated cars made their debut on California’s congested city streets earlier this week. The cars, having logged up to 700,000 miles on rural highways, are now safe to operate on city streets with a considerable amount of pedestrian traffic. “Engineers have improved the cars’ software to recognize situations like pedestrian traffic, buses, stop signs held by crossing guards and hand signals made by cyclists,” CNN reported on April 28.

Automated Cars Safer Than Traditional Vehicles, Experts Say

Google’s engineers are confident about the self-driving cars’ safety. In fact, once the cars are finished, Google estimates that they will be safer than cars with a human at the wheel. “A self-driving vehicle can pay attention to all of these things in a way that a human physically can’t — and it never gets tired or distracted,” Google’s self-driving car project director, Chris Urmson, wrote.

As of it stands, the automated cars are not perfect — and they are not ready for mass production. Engineers are still improving efficiency when turning on red, changing lanes, merging, and driving in extreme weather. For that reason, the vehicles are unlikely to be publicly available until approximately 2017 to 2025.

What Happens If There’s An Accident?

“The only reported accidents have happened when one of the cars was being driven by a person, or they were the fault of another driver,” CNN explains. Even so, it is possible. What happens when an automated car is involved in a collision?

Car accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers are not entirely clear on that. Car accident attorneys would, however, carefully consider the incident details. Did a human take control over the vehicle due to system failure? Who was at fault?

Automated cars are likely to be safely on the roads — but not for a while yet. Lawyers have plenty of time to mull over what exactly they will consider if — and when — the automated vehicles get into accidents. Helpful links:

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