Technology is evolving faster than anyone imagined. What used to be science fiction is now just a modern convenience. While we welcome some advancements with open arms, a few upgrades leaving society feeling somewhat hesitant. Autonomous driving is one concept we need to start considering.
What is autonomous driving?
Autonomous driving is just a fancy way of referring to the phenomena of self-driving. These mainly refer to vehicles that drive themselves. They allow people to use their vehicles without them having to be in total control.
How exactly are scientists and engineers teaching cars to drive on their own? They are getting a lot of help from artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence allows cars to “detect” driving conditions in real–time. These programs respond to real-world data to calculate how to move.
AI is a standard part of these vehicles and allows them to work effectively. These cars are so much more than simple programs that detect movements and integrate driving regulations. For the vehicles to work, they need to adapt to how the actual world around them operates. In other words, – they need to be able to “learn” and make complicated decisions at a moment’s notice.
So far – researchers are pretty happy with the progress made.
AI is also a standard component of automated driver assistances and partially automated driving. These are not fully automated, meaning that they are merely there to help the driver take control of the vehicle and sense impending dangers.
These supportive programs execute at a high level of accuracy, and many agree that they make the roads a bit safer. What is the deal with going fully autonomous?
While some cities are testing such vehicles, we don’t quite see these cars breaking the market. There seems to be a lot of controversy about putting these driverless vehicles out on the road.
There are many people nervous about the “AI takeover.” While some fear is sheer paranoia, some things leave us wondering if society is quite ready for these machines yet.
At first glance, there is the matter of safety. Huge differences exist between labs and the real world. What works in a perfect simulation may not work in realistic situations. A decade or so ago, this was a chief concern for “successful” autonomous programs that didn’t perform efficiently during real-world tests.
Since then, further research has addressed such safety concerns and delivered models that even outperform human drivers. These promising results demonstrate the ability to use such vehicles, but they suggest improving the road.
Many speculate that the mass use of autonomous driving is beneficial. These programs react to dangerous events faster than the human mind perceives this. Better accident detection and prevention means fewer accidents on the road. Even beyond this element, there is also something to consider road efficiency.
Traffic jams are often the result of inefficient driving. With AIs behind the wheel, traffic may reduce!
There are so many different things that can come from these vehicles. Imagine a future where you could multitask and still get to places. Keeping your eyes off the road for an instant won’t be so dangerous anymore. You can continue with the hustle and bustle of your busy life without concerns about safe driving.
Essentially, anyone can safely get “behind the wheel” of a car. This invention may be revolutionary for people who struggle to drive due to illness or injury. Imagine how these machines can give people lower back pain, epilepsy, or even paralysis the freedom to travel independently.
Of course, autonomous driving is not just for pain management and health conditions. These implications leave many questions when it comes to legality.
What does this mean for the future of automobile accidents?
Our legal system caters to human drivers. We have laws and regulations specifically about humans. Taking the driver out of the equation raises some interesting questions.
Where will the law stand with drunk drivers? Will you need a license for these cars? Can you text and drive, or do you have a responsibility to remain aware of overriding the functions?
On a deeper level, lawmakers must decide who is at fault. When a self-driving car gets into an accident, do you sue the company or the driver? For the most part, the law views automated processes as a kind of support system meant to aid drivers.
This perspective means that it’s still up to the driver to pay attention when they drive to the chiropractor or the local ball game. As the technology advances, many argue the fault is on the side of the car producer.
There are so many questions the law needs to address in upcoming years where experts expect these autonomous vehicles to be more popular on the road. While some states already make some special legislation regarding self–driving cars on the road, many states need to decide.
Whether or not we want to think about it, the future comes faster than we ever expect. We need to make sure that consider these things when thinking about the future of law. We do after a car accident today may not be the same thing we have to do in 2020.
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