A Self Driving Car? What Else is New!

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: August 21, 2015

Nothing much surprises us these days what with our mini computers in our pockets giving us access to almost ANY information in the world…

Cute photos of kittens? You got it.

Information on the current economic status of Greece? No problem.

How about that restaurant half way around the world? Yelp says they get a 3.5 stars.

So when we talk about a self driving car, we have a more “it was only a matter of time” attitude…

Don’t get us wrong – we are still geeking out!

Is it available?! …

No, not yet but they Google definitely has a prototypes zipping around!

Why a self driving car?

Google believes that if everyone could get around easily and safely, regardless of their ability to drive, the world would be a better place to navigate!

For instance, aging or visually impaired loved ones wouldn’t have to give up their independence…

Time spent commuting could be time spent doing what you want to do… (aka checking Facebook, Instagramming, taking a selfie)…

And deaths from traffic accidents—over 1.2 million worldwide every year—could be reduced dramatically, especially since 94% of accidents in the U.S. involve human error…

Yikes! As an Personal Injury firm we are definitely familiar with those statistics!

But How Does This Magical Ride Work?!

The Google car is designed to safely navigate through all kinds of city streets…

It fact the car has sensors designed to detect objects as far as two football fields away in all directions, including pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles—or even fluttering plastic shopping bags and rogue birds…

WHAT?! Okay now we are seriously geeking out!

The software processes all the information to help the car safely navigate the road without getting tired or distracted… Like us humans (hence reducing human error).

Okay… But Does This Car Actually Work?

Google has self-driven over 1 million miles and they are currently out on the streets of Mountain View, California and Austin, Texas!

Car junkies beware though they have only modified Lexus SUVs and new prototype vehicles that are designed from the ground up to be fully self-driving… so nothing batman looking… yet.

And for those of you still freaking out – there are safety drivers aboard all vehicles for now…So no rogue Google car abound just yet.

So What Does This Mean For the Future of Driving?

It means we can finally sleep on that darn driving we hate to grandma’s house…

But really the self-driving car has a lot more testing to do but for those wary of it’s safety on the streets – well we think it’s a fair question!

Other questions like who is responsible if and when an accident does occur? Because the vehicle is operating “on its own” who is actually liable when one or both parties are injured?

Is the car responsible? The manufacturer? Google?

These are excellent questions with no definitive answers as the car is still in development without any actual product launches to the public…

Nonetheless, some of us can’t wait to chill out and let the car do the driving…

While some of us much rather still to the old two hands on the wheel trick 😉


Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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