Will Driverless Cars Cause More Problems Than They Solve?

They are coming. According to a recent article in the Times-Picayune, cars that can drive themselves in limited conditions will hit the roads within the next five to 10 years. Self-driving cars that can handle most conditions will be available within the next 20 years. But will this new technology cause more problems than it solves?

The Benefits Of Self-Driving Cars

In the article, one auto industry analyst compares self-driving cars to smart phones. In the early days of smart phones, we did not even realize everything this technology would be able to accomplish. Similarly, we do not yet know everything that we may be able to do with self-driving cars. Like smart phones, they may become indispensible.

Driverless cars may run errands without the need for anyone actually being in the car. They may work like taxi services, transporting passengers back and forth. Without having to be behind the wheel, people will be able to use travel time for more productive tasks. One of the biggest benefits predicted is the reduction of traffic accidents, because an estimated 90 percent of accidents are the result of human error.

What Is The Downside?

One side effect that has concerned some groups is the potential increase in the number of miles driven, and a corresponding surge in traffic. Will the infrastructure be able to handle such a surge if it occurs? Some models show that, if there are a substantial number of holdouts who want to drive themselves, traffic could increase dramatically. Even if everyone is ready to make the shift to driverless cars, there may be a need to re-do highways to account for the speed and agility that is expected of these vehicles.

Furthermore, it is presumed that these vehicles will be without flaws. As past motor vehicle defects have shown, there is still reason to be concerned that self-driving cars introduce new dangers to the roads of New Orleans and nationwide.

In The Meantime

Science and technology will keep moving forward. In the meantime, police and lawmakers will continue to take steps to alleviate traffic concerns and to reduce motor vehicle accidents. Victims of accidents caused by the negligence of other drivers still have the right to pursue compensation through personal injury claims. Attorney James Arruebarrena will continue to stand up for victims of negligence.