Semi and Fully Autonomous Vehicle Usher In Brave New World of Law

Posted on

When it comes to the future of automobile technology, autonomous seems to be the name of the game.  Google has been promoting perhaps the most promising technology, a type of vehicle that takes over every driving function from an operator.  Other automakers, though, are focused on taking incremental steps toward such a system.

No matter how you look at it, it’s important to realize the necessity of having laws in place to govern these types of vehicles.  California lawmakers have passed legislation geared toward autonomous vehicles, and Florida and Nevada recently did the same.  Plus, the NHTSA has advised the ongoing development of Vehicle to Vehicle communications and other technologies designed to eliminate human error.

A new report takes a look at the need to sort out legality and matters of liability prior to the widespread availability of autonomous cars, with an especial focus on those vehicles that are not quite fully autonomous.  The thinking behind these vehicles is that they will be ready to roll out sooner than completely self-driving units.

General Motors’s semi-autonomous vehicle system, the Super Cruise, is explored in that same article.  It’s reportedly able to take over most driving functions on the highway.  It can monitor speed and stay within the lanes of an interstate, but it’s limited in that it can’t pick up on debris or other sudden road hazards.  Because it is not self-driving, its implementation (and that of other systems like it) may not require the legislative framework needed for a fully automated vehicle.