Motorists throughout South Florida should take note of a recent press release from automaker Ford Motor Company, which announced that it will be launching its self-driving commercial business division in 2022. According to an October 20, 2020 article published by CNBC, the company will be integrating its fourth-generation of self-driving test vehicles in several US cities, including Miami. The latest technology, such as higher resolution cameras and improved sensors, serves as an upgrade to the fleet of Ford Escape Hybrid crossovers.
However, safety concerns remain, and you could be at an increased risk of car accidents in Miami when you are driving around these test vehicles. Some information on the dangers, as well as some benefits of autonomous automobiles, may be useful.
Dangers of Self-Driving Automobiles
Autonomous vehicle technology is designed to eliminate the need for human intervention and manual navigation, but it comes with inherent dangers.
- Technology Errors: A self-driving auto may require up to 100 extremely sophisticated computers to operate it. Any error within the system could affect any of these components and how they communicate with each other. One of the key challenges for developers is how to solve technology errors related to weather conditions.
- Unprepared Infrastructure: Autonomous cars require a massive computer network and connectivity, but there are millions of miles of US roadways that have not been optimized for self-driving vehicle traffic. Plus, being an emerging industry, autonomous vehicles are mostly unregulated.
- Vulnerability to Hacking: These vehicles operate through software and an internet connection. Because any device with access to the internet has the potential to get hacked, a self-driving car could become compromised when another person gains control over operations.
Advantages of Autonomous Vehicles
Though the risks are significant, it is important to understand them in the context of the benefits of self-driving cars.
- Reduce Human Error: The number one cause of car accidents is negligence and driver error, such as speeding, running red lights, use of alcohol or drugs, distractions, and many others. By taking the human element out of the equation, autonomous vehicles can reduce the potential for crashes.
- Decrease Traffic Congestion: Motorists tend to be selfish and prioritize their own navigation in heavy traffic, while self-driving cars operate by algorithm. These vehicles communicate with each other, slowing when necessary and spacing out for efficiency.
- Lower Fuel Consumption: Because their communications systems connect them, autonomous cars can anticipate what other vehicles are doing; they apply the brakes or accelerate as necessary for traffic conditions. The technology is more gradual in doing so, avoiding the “jackrabbit” starts that impact fuel efficiency.
A Miami Car Accident Lawyer can Help if You Were Injured
It will be some time before the streets of South Florida will be filled with self-driving vehicles, but the risk of car accidents affects all motorists today. If you were hurt in a crash, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to speak to one of our experienced auto collision attorneys. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL to review your situation and advise you on your rights.