Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Agrees that Automated Cars May Reduce Traffic Fatalities
CHICAGO, July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The development of automated vehicles may one day save lives, according to traffic safety officials and engineers who recently gathered in Detroit for the first Driverless Car Summit. Automation that can prevent car crashes may have the potential to bring about a steep decline in highway deaths.
"The technology now being developed has the potential to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that result from automobile collisions," said Paul Greenberg , a Chicago personal injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. "More research is needed, but we all hope that the goal of reducing tragic accidents can be reached."
The Detroit summit was the first of its kind, bringing together engineers, safety officials and other stakeholders to discuss the future of automated cars. John Maddox of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that human error is the reason behind the vast majority of crashes, and that the development of vehicle automation is an opportunity to prevent traffic fatalities.
According to the NHTSA, there were 32,788 highway deaths in the United States in 2010. This is the lowest number since it began keeping records in 1949, but safety officials worry that the steep declines of previous decades have tapered off. The development of automation has introduced the vision of "crashless" cars.
Maddox said that in order to learn more about the potential of the technology, the NHTSA is investing a significant amount of money into researching automation. The key factor is safety. While human error is understood and even expected, drivers demand high safety standards in automotive technology.
Another hurdle for those developing automation technology is the cost, which is currently prohibitive for the average consumer. Google is developing driverless test cars, with equipment that costs about $150,000, including a laser radar system.
A further challenge is marketing the unfamiliar technology to drivers. During the Detroit summit, hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, speakers warned that terms like "driverless" and "self-driving" might scare consumers. Even the term "unmanned" calls to mind a loss of control. As the technology and terminology develop, a consensus may be forming around the term "automated."
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