Countless motor vehicle manufacturers and research organizations have been experimenting with autonomous vehicles since the early 1920s. What started as a staple in science fiction pulp magazines is slowly becoming a worldwide reality.
Autonomous vehicles represent the next phase in motor vehicle safety technology. According to the National Safety Council, there were over 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2017. This tragic number includes the lives of over 1,000 Arizona residents. Various researchers, universities, corporations, and lawmakers are working tirelessly to develop a functioning model that can reduce the number of annual car collisions and traffic fatalities in America.
On October 11, 2018, Governor Doug Ducey announced that he signed an executive order to build the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM) in Phoenix. This research and development center is devoted to testing autonomous vehicle prototypes and addressing any potential liability and safety issues associated with the technology. According to Governor Ducey, “The Institute for Automated Mobility will bring together global industry leaders, a public-sector team and the brightest minds in academia, focused on advancing all aspects of automated vehicle science, safety and policy. Arizona is committed to providing the leadership and knowledge necessary to integrate these technologies into the world’s transportation systems.”
The following public and private groups are participating in this huge undertaking:
- Arizona Commerce Authority
- Arizona Department of Transportation
- Arizona State
- University of Arizona
- Northern Arizona University
Intel and its subsidiary Mobileye are offering their Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS) to the project. This unique system determines how autonomous vehicles function and adapt to human drivers. According to reports, it’s far more reliable than Waymo’s AV system, which has been criticized by many Arizona residents.
As impressive as this technology is, we likely won’t be seeing fully autonomous cars on the road anytime soon. However, manufacturers and car dealers are releasing new fleets that include crash avoidance technology as a selling point. While these features provide many opportunities for drivers, the technology itself still has a long way to go. In fact, according a study completed by the Highway Loss Data Institute, lane departure warning systems tend to encourage accidents rather than reduce them. This is because drivers thoughtlessly trust their cars more than their own judgement.
Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident? Schedule a Consultation
In the future, autonomous vehicles will initiate notable changes in both federal traffic laws and the American civil justice system. For now, however, people are still responsible for safely controlling their cars—this includes vehicles with crash safety technology. If you’ve been injured due to the negligent actions of a driver, contact the Phoenix car accident lawyers at Alex & Associates Our trial-tested legal team has recovered millions of dollars in settlement and verdicts on behalf of our clients.
We’re available 24/7. Call Alex & Associates, P.C. at (602) 483-6114 to schedule a free consultation.