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Human Influence May Pose Danger to Autonomous Vehicles

Advances in self-driving vehicle technology are exciting to many people in Mississippi and across the country who hope that autonomous cars can help to make the roadways safer and cut down on car accidents. However, accidents, injuries and fatalities linked to autonomous vehicles have also received a great deal of publicity, especially as the technology remains in a developmental stage. While some have blamed automation for these crashes, one expert points out that the human influence on automated vehicles could be one of the greatest risks for unsafe driving.

In particular, many vehicles are being programmed to operate in a way that mimics the behavior of human drivers in an attempt to provide a familiar, comfortable driving experience. However, human drivers are known for their own fallibility, including car accidents. One engineering professor at Arizona State University noted that all self-driving programs are based on the human experience of driving, opening up the automated vehicles to a human-like experience of driver mistakes.

Commenting on the first pedestrian death involving a driverless car in March 2018, the professor noted that driving like a human can mean making more dangerous decisions. He said that while human drivers perceive the road ahead of them as clear if they do not see an obstacle, autonomous vehicles could be programmed to make the opposite assumption: that the road contains an obstacle unless it is clearly perceived to be free of any blockage.

The professor noted that there are different standards for human drivers and driverless cars and that autonomous vehicles are held to a higher standard. Of course, the vast majority of crashes on the road are caused by all-too-human dangerous or negligent driving. People who have been injured in car accidents due to another's actions may work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their injuries, medical bills and other damages.