Every day brings new technology advances that change the way we interact, consume information, and travel. These changes may impact the way we navigate roads as well. In fact, technology companies on the cutting edge have been hard at work developing self-driving cars, and these vehicles have the potential to change the way we travel.
Most recently, car companies have been collaborating with NASA to design autonomous navigation systems for cars which utilize artificial intelligence. This means that the vehicles of tomorrow may not need human drivers at all. Many hope that autonomous vehicles will result in fewer accidents caused by driver distraction, speeding, and other reckless behavior.
Additionally, many self-driving vehicles are equipped with sensors and cameras that will allow for the detection of dangerous road conditions or accidents. This means self-driving cars may be able to see and hear sirens or other passing vehicles. These autonomous systems will allow these vehicles to slow down, pull over, and yield to emergency response vehicles.
However, the excitement over the innovation of self-driving cars should be met with some caution. The fact remains that driverless vehicles may still be prone to accidents. Given how new the phenomenon of driverless vehicles remains, there are a number of issues that still need to be worked out — especially the issue of what to do after an accident with a self-driving vehicle. Driverless collisions may present a whole new set of issues and unique problems that have yet to be considered.
In the event of an accident with a self-driving car, both the parties to the accident and law enforcement should understand how to respond. This requires understanding how to access these vehicles in the event of an emergency. Some technology companies are beginning to share information with law enforcement. This sharing of information will hopefully mean that first responders can learn of accidents sooner and potentially have a better understanding of the causes of an accident.
In a recent safety report, Waymo elaborated on how collaboration with law enforcement is critical to promoting safety with self-driving cars. Police should be aware of the potential growth in self-driving cars in the future and begin to develop protocols and best practices for handling car accidents involving self-driving vehicles. This may require enhanced software training and familiarity with the design and operating systems of these vehicles. Similar training for first responders will help them quickly access the cabin to free passengers who may be trapped in an autonomous vehicle after a collision.
It is clear that procedures and protocols for law enforcement and first responders will need to shift as self-driving cars become more common on our streets, roads, and highways. They will need to be familiar with the design and operation of these vehicles, and they will need to know how to access them in an emergency situation to render aid.
The St. Louis trial lawyers of Sansone & Lauber are committed to protecting injured individuals in Missouri and Illinois. When new advancements in technology cause harm to members of our community, we are always ready to help. Our knowledge of injury law and how it applies to you and your situation can be a vital instrument in your quest for justice. If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident, contact us today by phone or online for a free consultation.