Connecticut May Soon Allow Self-Driving Car Tests

How might self-driving cars change the face of personal injury law?

Connecticut is poised to become the next state to allow for self-driving cars on public roads. The Connecticut state government is currently accepting applications from different towns and cities to participate in the test program. From the applications, four cities will be selected. Connecticut’s inclusion in the self-driving vehicle testing market represents the rapidly expanding nature of the field of autonomous cars. Our New York City automobile accident attorneys discuss neighboring Connecticut’s decision to allow self-driving car testing and the future of personal injury law with the advent of autonomous vehicles.

CT’s Pilot Program

Across the country, car companies like Google, Tesla, and Uber are testing self-driving vehicles. Already, Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Iowa, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have automated vehicle testing sites. Now, Connecticut may join their ranks.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has stated that autonomous vehicles are the future of transportation. Connecticut is electing to embrace the technology so as not to get behind the curve. It is widely believed that self-driving vehicles will greatly increase safety on the roadway. Currently, human error stands as the number one cause of car accidents. By eliminating the human element, car accidents could decrease drastically.

However, self-driving vehicle testing does come with risks. Self-driving car technology is still in the developing stages. A fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving vehicle has already occurred in Arizona. To combat dangers, Connecticut plans to limit where self-driving vehicles can travel, and will not allow them on limited access highways. Further, human safety drivers will be required to be present and prepared to take control in all events.

Autonomous Cars and Liability

When an accident occurs today, the at-fault driver is deemed liabile. Personal injury attorneys strive to hold negligent individuals accountable for the damages they inflict. If, in the future, autonomous cars replace people-driven vehicles, the entire field of personal injury law will change. Rather than holding people responsible for accidents, the makers of self-driving vehicles may well be liable. Product liability law could thus become a far larger field than it is already.

Posted in: Personal Injury Law

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