Artificial intelligence and its integration in things we use in our everyday life has been something truly revolutionary and astonishing, helping us save valuable time and effort.
When combining something with AI, we are basically giving it a mind of its own capable of learning so it can provide better results each time, and a very commonly used example of this is the Google search bar and its predictions.
One of the most exciting and long-awaited projects involving this innovative technology is self-driving or autonomous cars.
A study done by The Harvard Health Watch shows that an average American spends around 37,935 hours (4.33 years) of their life behind the wheel, which is a significant amount of time that could be put to better use. Recently, some car manufacturers introduced technologies that made their cars semi-autonomous and capable of driving fully aware of their surroundings, but further work is being done to develop algorithms that enable said cars to drive with no help at all from their passengers.
All this technology, intelligence, and potential grabbed my attention and made me curious about many aspects of this huge leap that could have a significant impact on our lives. Many questions popped into my mind when I started researching this topic such as: What are laws concerning autonomous vehicles? When will self-driving cars become the norm? (going to add 1 more) Laws regarding these cars have been created in different states in the US and companies are starting to predict how much time it’ll take until they start releasing and selling fully autonomous cars to the public, and it’s really not a long time till we get there.
In the US, different states have applied different laws on autonomous vehicles, also known as “AV”, in order to control their use and boost safety measures. A book that shines the light on some of these laws is “Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers” by James M. Anderson, Nidhi Kalra, Karlyn D. Stanley, Paul Sorensen, Constantine Samaras and Oluwatobi A. Oluwatola. Each state mentioned in the third chapter of this book reinforces different laws that vary in their content when it comes to defining AVs, liability, insurance, and exceptions. An example of these differences is how the one applied in Nevada, enacted recently (2011), allows the use of AV for testing and individual ownership, while the law in California, enacted in September 2012, only allows their use for testing (Anderson, 2014). Such laws are instated for the key reason of allowing the growth of such technology in a controlled way, avoiding unnecessary damage or harm to the general public, and while these two states, along with Florida and Washington DC, have passed laws concerning AVs, legislative activity is ongoing in several other states such as Arizona, Colorado, and Hawaii (Anderson, 2014).
The book highlights the differences in the laws of every state showing the rise of a problem which is the heterogeneous application of laws on the same product. In addition to that, the variance in how states define AV reflects uncertainty about the whole technology and could cause confusion among the citizens. Moreover, some states like Nevada and California (Anderson, 2014) do not mention liability in their already enacted laws, which is, in my opinion, one of the most important characteristics that should be very carefully studied and included in the statement of the law to avoid serious conflicts when such cars start replacing the normal cars we drive nowadays. The creation of laws represents in this case the crossing bridge towards the future of automobiles, which can potentially be revolutionary if the transition to AVs were to be controlled properly and thoughtfully. Some of the previously enacted laws are missing major points that could lead to a whole set of new problems in the future and so they should be worked on before car manufacturers start releasing the teched up cars. Also, a good idea would be to homogenize the laws concerning self-driving cars across all states which would solve the confusion made by the differences as well as encouraging states with ongoing legislation to adapt the common law.
Autonomous cars were not considered as an evolutionary idea but rather a fantasy. However, after countless innovation on intricate machinery and complex AI systems, engineers brought that fantasy to reality. The article Road to the Future: GOOGLE, OTHERS PAVE WAY FOR SELF-DRIVING CARS written by Michael A. Fletcher discusses the evolution of Autonomous cars, it starts by shedding the light on the positive outcomes such as googles autonomous vehicles that were able to cover a half- million miles without any alerting incidents (Fletcher, 2015).however the author immediately shifts to pinpointing the danger and the disappointing results such as Toyotas sudden acceleration problem in 2014 and General Motor’s ignition switch defect that killed 30 drivers (Fletcher, 2015), thus encouraged questions to be raised and further investigations to uncover data that the companies are hiding. After the multiple states in the US started to issue laws and jurisdiction legalizing the use of self-driving vehicles, research and experiments pace were significantly increased thus mistakes and failure had their solutions and success rate was in a constant incline.
This article left out queries and unjustified reasons for how US states can allow self-driving cars to be legalized while those companies have a deceiving background and fraud-based history. Moreover, leaving this vague, unclear, justification encourages the mind to come up with its own reasons such as economic and political power motivated actions whereas it could be a trust or a 100% data announcement deal between the companies and the state’s mayors’. Nevertheless, technological advancement is important in this era of age, and Autonomous vehicles is a revolutionary, time changing innovation which will be a solution for many problems if it was well applied and a strive for improvement and perfection is still the main aim.
This article published in 2015 provided data which ranges from 1950’s to 2014 thus ensures that the article is up to date and consequently making it high in currency. In addition to that claims were supported by evidence and facts hence ensuring the high reliability of the article. The author Michael A. Fletcher kept his objectivity by discussing both the risks and failures of autonomous vehicles and their successes leaving him far away from being accused of being bias. Moreover, this article comes from a non-profit organization aiming for education and research therefore this article can be trusted and reliable to use.
Road to the Future shows the details of how AV reached to where they are today and focuses on how challenges where treated and new tests are on the run. Which is an essential knowledge to acquire on any topic before discussing since it forms a strong base for the arguments to be built around.
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