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How Soon Will We See Self-Driving Cars On The Roads?

Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Sep 04, 2014 in Auto Accidents

Automated cars may be available sooner than one might imagine. Self-driving cars are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Googles Self-Driving Car project is ready to be tested on Californias public roads.

For years, Google has been testing their vehicles on private roads and in research labs. Recently, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has announced that the Google car can be operated on public roads with a few conditions.

The conditions include:

  • Registering the test vehicle with the DMV
  • Providing records of previous testing of the car in laboratory conditions and private roads
  • Using qualified test drivers
  • Possessing a $5 million insurance bond in case of any accidents
  • Installing a steering wheel so that a driver can take over control of the vehicle if necessary
  • Reporting any accidents

The rules go into effect on September 16, 2014. Unfortunately for Google, their autonomous driving prototypes lack a steering wheel and pedals. The company has announced that in order to meet the standards announced by the California Department of Motor Vehicle, Google will be temporarily outfitting vehicles with steering wheels.

The cars are facing many practical, legal and weather related challenges. The Google cars have not been tested on icy or snowy roads, during heavy rainstorms or in areas that are not heavily mapped.

Additionally, questions about insurance in the event of an accident pose significant barriers to the acceptance of automated cars. In many states, there are no rules governing the use of automated cars. They are simply considered illegal. As more and more companies develop these cars, states will have to take the initiative like California and create rules regulating the use of automated cars.

The auto accident attorneys at Harbin Law serve clients throughout South Carolina dealing with the aftermath of serious auto accident injuries. To discuss a possible case, call 1-888-821-0247

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