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Back to the future? Risk of a self-driving car accident

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Though most Pennsylvania adults are familiar with the idea of an autonomous vehicle, many can hardly believe technology has made the idea a reality and that such a notion no longer falls under the realm of science fiction. New technology emerges almost daily but still has some obvious kinks to work out before self-driving cars become commonplace. Though much of the technology is developed using computers and data, human testing is required, and such testing has already caused a fatal car accident.

The testing of these vehicles on public roads came screeching to a halt after a person in another state was killed in an accident involving a self-driving car. Now, the state of Pennsylvania has decided it will allow industry giant Uber to resume testing of such vehicles on public roads within the commonwealth. Though claims have been made, stating the risk to the public has decreased, there is no way to be certain the vehicles are safer. 

Pennsylvania drivers will be expected to share the road with these autonomous cars. The vehicles being tested will contain two human beings who will have the ability to take control of the car should a problem arise. Researchers feel this is the only way to collect the data necessary to complete the research and development needed to bring self-driving cars to market. Many states do not allow the testing of such vehicles on public roadways, due to an increased risk to the public.

When an innocent person is injured in a car accident, he or she may want to take action against a responsible party. Bodily injury and property damage can put undo physical and financial stress on a victim who is already suffering through no fault of his or her own. In many cases, a compassionate attorney can assist a victim as he or she attempts to seek justice against the responsible party in a court of law.

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