The laws surrounding the global shift towards autonomous vehicles and if they should be legally allowed to operate on global roads have always been complicated. In the relatively short time that these types of laws have gone into their draft stages, the world of autonomous vehicles has experienced leaps and bounds in terms of progression – and not all those leaps and bounds have been overly positive. The rise of autonomous vehicles has brought with it much excitement and controversy, and it is important to take a step back and consider this issue from all angles.
First, it is important to note that autonomous vehicles are, as of yet, not a reality. Currently what we are working with are semi-autonomous vehicles. These are cars that can detect movement around them and take some of the driver’s responsibilities from their hands. Think reverse parking or sensor detection (i.e. vehicles that have light detections on side mirrors to let drivers know when it is safe to merge into the next lane over, or vehicles that detect the sides of the road and stop the vehicle from veering into them). But what is the single largest issue with the laws surrounding semi-autonomous vehicles, and what do they mean for the future of autonomous vehicles on the world’s roads?
The current issues with semi-autonomous vehicles
The legal implications currently surrounding on-road incidents involving semi-autonomous vehicles have everything to do with the problematic history of such vehicles in their introductory stages. In as little as two to three years, there have been up to five fatalities involving semi-autonomous vehicles around the world. While of course a period of trial and error is to be expected with any form of technology, there is something to be said about the harrowing impact that “trial and error” have when it comes to something as life-changing as autonomous vehicles being brought to the market, and to the roads around the world.
Why the law changes are so extraordinarily important
In addition to the standard or extraordinary legal implications of injuries or fatalities involving autonomous vehicles, comes the inevitable hiring of injury lawyers from law firms like Olympia Injury Lawyers. The issue of morality and legal accountability is one that is still pulled into question daily; in the case of a semi-autonomous vehicle striking and injuring or killing a person, is the individual behind the wheel responsible, since the vehicle was operating without the individual in the front seat physically controlling it? This is exactly it. The core underlying issue that speaks volumes of why specific laws surrounding road incidents involving semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles, is so crucial.
The legal move for change continues to rage on
It is no secret that the laws surrounding this particular issue (and so many others, for that matter) are currently undergoing a massive remodelling. Road incidents involving semi-autonomous vehicles and the like are more complex in nature than those that involve standard vehicles, because of the role that tech plays in controlling and driving the vehicle. This is a global movement that is raging on everywhere, and that will continue to do so until a core agreement has been reached on how to handle such road incidents going into the future.
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