Self-driving cars are the wave of the future, but that future might be further off than we think. Recently, an accident in Arizona has caused many to re-evaluate driverless vehicle safety guidelines.
A woman was killed in a car crash involving one of Uber’s fully automated cars. This accident was part of a series of mishaps that the ride-sharing tech giant was working through to get their driverless cars ready for mass distribution. The accident has caused Uber to put a hold on their efforts throughout the country, including Pittsburgh.
Self-driving cars are still on the road
In September, it became national news that our state’s roads could be a self-driving lab for anyone who wanted to use them. Since Uber, not a regulatory agency, made the test stoppage call other companies can still test their vehicles on Pennsylvania’s roads. This begs the question: why is there a hold up on these needed safety regulations?
Legislators are waiting to act on what the next step should be for Pennsylvania’s driving laws because it is so complicated. Among the difficult issues that will have to be resolved are:
- Determining exactly whether the fault will lay with car owners or software designers in the event of an accident
- Altering traffic laws and policing, considering that an automated road system will need a less punitive police presence
- Considerations on the changes to shipping laws and public transportation
When you look closely at the cars of the future, you see a lot more possible changes than merely car culture.
So what are Pennsylvanians supposed to do?
Making new law is a complicated issue. While being a testing ground for driverless cars brings attention to the state, which can encourage commerce it is also very risky. The most important thing for you is to keep your eyes peeled for oncoming changes.