Self-driving cars may increase car accident risks

Technology is an amazing thing, and our world has certainly changed for the better as advancements in science and technology continue to improve. Many would argue, however, that not all types of technological innovation are to be lauded. In fact, some forms of technology could lead to negative outcomes for many in Massachusetts and elsewhere. An example is found in self-driving vehicles and a recent report that suggests that these cars may be involved in multiple car accident cases.

Driverless cars are currently being tested on the west coast, with varying levels of success. Google Inc. has teamed up with Lexus to build and test an SUV that operates independently. In total, there are approximately 50 self-driving cars currently on west coast roadways. A recent report indicated that some of these vehicles have been involved in accidents, although the cause of those collisions is in dispute.

Self-driving vehicles are not permitted to operate without a driver present. Of the four accidents, two are claimed to have taken place while the driver was in full control of the vehicle. The other two occurred while the car was in self-driving mode. Google, along with the manufacturer of the self-driving components within the vehicles, asserts that neither the vehicles nor the drivers were the cause of the accidents.

As self-driven vehicles continue to be refined, many in Massachusetts believe that this is a form of technology that could eventually pose a hazard on the roads. Others feel confident that self-driven cars are the wave of the future, and that the vehicles will eventually make road travel far safer than it is today. Both sides of that debate will continue to monitor car accident rates connected to these unique methods of transportation.

Source: Fox News, "Self-driving cars getting dinged in California", May 11, 2015

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