The Sunshine state is trying to bring self-driving vehicles to Florida to test-drive on public roads, according to a Bloomberg report. The state is also looking at legislation that is looser than those of California and New York regarding the issue. A fatal car accident that happened earlier this year in Arizona, another state that pushed the unproven robo-cars despite not much dataon their safety, is not likely to steer Florida away from the innovative technology.
Current Laws on Driverless Cars
Florida does not have strict self-driving car laws in place. That being said, the state allows carmakers and technology companies to run self-driving cars. Under the current law, these companies are not required to report problems such as traffic accidents to the state involving the autonomous vehicles.
In 2015, Florida legislators passed laws that allowed for vehicles to be used without human drivers. California law also allows vehicles to be self-driven. Unlike Florida law, however, the Golden state requires human operators to keep control of the vehicle despite the automation. Moreover, California state law mandates that companies report not only all accidents involving robot cars but also disengagements – situations when the human driver overrides the vehicle’s autonomous driving system. According to each state’s governor’s office, California has approximately 365 driverless cars on the road while Arizona has more than 600 autonomous vehicles.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as many as 21 states have enacted laws governing the use of autonomous vehicles across the nation. An additional 11 states have executive orders from governors on the issue.
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Issues with Robot Cars
Failure to have tougher laws on self-driving cars came under scrutiny recently when, in March of this year, a self-driving car being tested in Tempe, Arizona by Uber Technologies, Inc. hit and killed a pedestrian. Several companies, including Uber, Toyota, and NuTonomy, announced suspension of their driverless vehicles after the fatal crash. Although the test conducted in Tempe had a safety driver behind the wheel of the self-driving vehicle, neither the driver nor the automation was able to react quickly enough to avoid the crash.
In 2017, a partially self-driving car accident received national attention when an Ohio resident was killed on a Florida highway. According to a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the NHTSA investigated the incident and found that the driver repeatedly ignored warnings from the vehicle’s system to put his hands back on the wheel. The crash is the first fatal crash in which an American driver was relying on the autopilot technology to accelerate, brake, and steer the vehicle. The 40-year-old victim was killed when his vehicle collided with a truck that crossed his path.
Under the current law, these companies are not required to report problems such as traffic accidents to the state involving the autonomous vehicles.
Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
Advances in technology that are aimed to make our lives easier and safer do not always perform as promised. That being said, most accidents that result in personal injury are caused by driver error. If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a Florida car accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns. With more than 40 years of experience representing car accident victims across Florida, our personal injury attorneys can guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free personal injury consultation.
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