Engineers say self-driving cars may arrive in 2025

Many Edwardsville residents may be following the news about the technologies that are being developed that may someday allow cars to drive themselves. In fact, back in November we discussed crash avoidance technology that was being tested by Toyota. The technology would give some of a driver’s responsibilities to the vehicle itself, by allowing motor vehicles to communicate with each other to avoid car accidents.

While such technologies may conjure up images of “The Jetsons” and their cartoon flying cars, the technology is actually very real. Semi-autonomous vehicles, with camera and radar technologies that help keep cars within their own lanes and recognize pedestrians and hazards, could be on the market in just a few years, according to a news report.

Completely autonomous motor vehicles–those that drive themselves with no need for a human driver–could be available in 2025, according to many people in the automotive industry. This was a major topic at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2013 World Congress this week, according to a news report.

While these technologies are very intriguing, some people and agencies do have concerns about what might happen in the technologies fail. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that it believes driverless cars could save thousands of lives, as with any technology one wonders whether it might malfunction from time to time.

If autonomous cars malfunction, car accidents might ensue and lawmakers need to figure out how that issue might be navigated. Under today’s model, drivers are generally responsible for car accidents. If a driver is distracted or negligent and causes a collision, injured parties can hold that driver and his or her insurance company accountable for damages.

NHSTA is reportedly in the midst of a research project that it hopes will help it to determine some ways of regulating autonomous cars in order to deal with these complicated issues.

Source: The Detroit News, “Expert says self-driving cars won’t arrive until 2025,” Karl Henkel, April 16, 2013

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