I’ve always thought of robots and flying cars as things of the future, things that I’d likely never live to see.  But with the emergence of the iPhone, Siri, and now driverless cars, these once fictional technologies are no longer things of the future.  They are slowly becoming reality and emerging right in front of my eyes.  I can’t help but wonder what is still to come that will actually make me say “WOW!”  Will my future children and grandchildren ever have to drive a car or even know what a gas or brake peddle is?  Will they ever have to hold a phone in their hands?  What sorts of things will they find fascinating?

This brings me to driverless cars.  Liability issues aside, I find this technology highly intriguing.  On Tuesday, California became the third state, after Nevada and Florida, to legalize driverless cars.  Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation at the Google headquarters, saying, "today we're looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow's reality — the self-driving car."  Since the technology is so new, the legislation requires the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to draft regulations for driverless vehicles by Jan. 1, 2015.  These regulations would “allow vehicles to operate autonomously.”  Basically, driverless cars would be a safe method to get from point A to B, while reducing human error.

Driverless Cars Change So Many Things!

  • We can text without being fined
  • We can talk on the phone without having to use a headset or Bluetooth
  • We can drink and be driven
  • No more DUI related injuries or deaths
  • Less vehicle accidents
  • No more hit and runs
  • The police can finally focus on more important issues
  • No more high speed chases
  • Terrible drivers won’t be a nuisance on the streets anymore
  • No more tailgaters

But I do have one concern.  Who is liable in case of an accident?  Or are they certain these cars won’t get into any accidents?

Who Assumes Liability in Case of an Accident?

Usually, when we get into a car accident, we are responsible for our mistakes.  However, with this emerging technology, the car is the one in control.  So in case of an accident, who’s exposed to liability?  According to a recent article,  “Autonomous cars use computers, sensors and other technology to operate independently, but a human driver can override the autopilot function and take control of the vehicle at any time.”  Will we be jointly liable in case of an accident since we can override the autopilot function?  I guess will have to wait and see what regulations and rules the DMV comes up with in 2015.

How do you guys feel about this new technology?  Would you prefer being in control of your car or would you rather a “robot” drive you around?