Louisiana residents may be interested in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's decision that the computer systems guiding self-driving vehicles can be considered drivers under federal law. The finding is being acknowledged as a significant step toward gaining approval for self-driving cars on the roads. Google's self-driving car does not require a human driver to operate.
The NHTSA has said that it will interpret Google's self-driving system as the driver rather than assigning the label to human occupants of the vehicles. Automakers are striving to develop cars that are at least partially self-sufficient, but state and federal safety rules have impeded their progress. California has suggested rules that would require a licensed driver and steering wheels in all self-driving vehicles.
According to Google, the most significant danger of self-driving car technology is that human drivers may attempt to take control. Human occupants may attempt to control steering, acceleration and braking, leading to override computer attempts and causing problems on the road. Federal regulations that currently require brake pedals and steering wheels would need to be rewritten before Google is able to sell vehicles that do not have these human-operated mechanisms in place. The NHTSA also reported plans to consider waiving certain vehicle safety rules that prevent self-driving vehicles from operating on the roads.
While self-driving cars may make the roads safer in the future, it is still common for car accidents to occur due to the actions of negligent drivers. A careless driver may be liable for various damages resulting from an accident. From medical expenses to long-term care costs and lost wages or earning potential due to injuries to pain and suffering, a personal injury lawyer may help victims get compensation for the damages they sustained as a result of an accident.