It may seem as if the question of driverless, autonomous vehicles is one we aren’t likely to confront for several years, if not decades. In reality, though, legislation passed by Florida lawmakers in 2012 make it perfectly legal for self-driving vehicles to operate on our roads. In theory, a totally driverless car could pull up next to you with no human occupant and there would be no law against it.
Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is the one who consistently championed that measure and continues to advocate for advancing vehicle technologies. He explained recently to The Tampa Tribune that Florida is one of the most forward-thinking states in regards to mobility and transportation, and the goal is to lure developers and other companies to grow expand this technology here. However, that hasn’t come without concern of the potential risks.
As many personal injury attorneys are noting, this technology may not be fully ready. There are practical and legal concerns about how such vehicles are going to respond in real-life scenarios. One recent example of how things might go terribly wrong occurred recently in Tempe, Arizona. As reported by The New York Times, Uber and other rideshare companies started testing driverless cars a few years ago in Arizona, after officials in that state promised not to impose stringent restrictions on developers. Then earlier this month, an autonomous passenger car operated by Uber (with an emergency backup driver behind the wheel) struck and killed a pedestrian. It’s believed to be the first pedestrian fatality associated with self-driving technology. Continue reading →