Multiple vehicle manufacturers and even some technology companies like Apple and Google are highly focused on the autonomous vehicle market and the development of fully self-driving cars. While experts in the industry admit that these cars are still many years away from being ubiquitous on Mississippi highways, testing of the new vehicles has focused on the need for safety regulations.
According to reports, there is still a great degree of uncertainty and argument surrounding the safety regulations of self-driving cars. Most experts agree that regulations must come at the federal level so that safety standards are kept consistent across state lines. The initial proposals were largely praised by the auto industry because they would allow the federal government to provide light regulation. They have come under fire, however, because they may represent a sacrifice of safety in order to more rapidly advance the technology.
If the current proposals in Congress are delayed, it may be left to the states to develop their own regulations. This would likely result in a patchwork as each state decides independently how safe is safe enough. Automakers and other developers of the technology have argued against allowing this, indicating that it would make the development of autonomous cars much more difficult.
While self-driving technology is expected to make roadways much safer once it is finally developed, there are many concerns about safety. It is possible that a collision may occur due to failures and errors in self-driving cars while they are still in development. How such a lawsuit may be handled is largely unknown and may change depending on final regulations. Personal injury attorneys will continue to remain appraised of this emerging area of law and be ready to answer clients' questions related to accidents involving the new technology.