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Regulators View Autonomous Vehicles as a Way to Reduce Traffic Deaths

Have you ever watched that scene in I, Robot where Will Smith is cruising down the highway in a sweet futuristic car that drives itself? A pretty cool concept right? Well, if a few key auto-manufactures and technology companies have their way it may not be a concept for long.

Some regulators believe autonomous vehicles should be seen as a means to reduce U.S. traffic deaths, which have been on a downward slope for six straight years. In coalition with designers and sellers, regulators are working on a new breed of cars that can “see more and drive smarter than a human” and are in the process of figuring out how to allow autonomous cars to interact with those controlled by people. “Automated driving, and the components of it, really is the next evolutionary step for what we see as safety technology in the passenger fleet,” said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator at an automated-vehicle forum sponsored by Volvo, “We have to make sure the technology is reliable.”

While the prospect of an automated car is exciting, Volvo development officials say that an awake person will be required behind the wheel of even the most independent cars for at least 10 to 20 years. Instead, it is more likely that as technology evolves over time, additions like adaptive cruise control, which would slow a car down when it’s too close to a vehicle ahead of it, or on board computers in vehicles that allow them to automatically break at stop lights will come first.

Volvo sees these vehicles as a crucial part of its strategy to move toward its goal of eliminating deaths among their customers by 2020, and has asked U.S. regulators to lead the way by asking states to not pass varying laws that would restrict testing of these burgeoning technologies. (USA Today)

On average, more than 6 million car accidents occur every year in the United States alone, injuring more than 3 million people. However, stories such as this one are evidence that every day auto-manufacturers and various regulatory agencies such as the NHTSA are hard at work to bring new technology and safety innovations to drivers. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Nearly 90,000 people were injured last year in Illinois car accidents, and our lawyers devote their lives to helping those negatively affected by the careless actions of others, whether it be the product of a crash or a medical malpractice. Together our attorneys possess over 130 years of legal and medical expertise to draw on in case that they handle. While continuing innovations make our roads safer, we will continue to be there for our clients when they need it.

The days when these autonomous vehicles become a reality may seem a bit far off, but don’t worry, I, Robot’s plot doesn’t take place until 2035, so we are right on track.