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Tesla To Release Self-Driving Cars in California As Early As 2020

The vision for driverless cars might soon become a reality as Tesla plans to release a fully self-driving vehicle in California as soon as next year. The company is in a race to be the first with a completely autonomous vehicle on the roads after years of testing and development behind the scenes.

Proponents of self-driving cars say that drivers and passengers will be less likely to get hurt in a serious car accident since many accidents today are caused by human error- 94 percent of them.

More than 40,000 Americans are fatally injured in car accidents every single year, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many others are so seriously injured that they have to hire a car accident attorney to help them navigate recovery through the legal system.

What is the New Self-Driving Car?

Even though the technology seems poised to accomplish this self-driving car goal, the public might not be ready to accept or trust it. One study  by AAA found that less than 20 percent of Americans feel confident or would put their trust in such a vehicle. Companies have continued to invest in the development of self-driving technology and road tests, but the public’s acceptance of the concept has not increased in proportion with the cost of this endeavor.

Even members of the public and the tech community are concerned about whether or not Tesla truly has the ability to put such a car on the roads. A fully autonomous vehicle would be run by a robot with the ability for a human to take over if necessary as shared by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

There is not yet a clear definition of what Elon Musk means by “fully self-driving” and some are waiting for the industry mogul to explain the places and conditions under which the car would be in control without the need for human intervention. Tesla’s cars plan to use eight cameras tracking 360 degrees alongside ultrasonic sensors and front-facing radar. Their model is different from the dozens of other companies, like Audi and Waymo developing self-driving technology.

What Can California Drivers Expect?

Even if self-driving cars that are fully autonomous hit the roads next year, many urban planning academics stated in a recent journal of the American Planning Association that cities are not prepared. Since technology makes it simple to call for a ride whenever needed, the instantaneous nature of being able to call an Uber or a Lyft driver is a preview of how self-driving car services might work.

But, some drivers might be concerned that removing the human driving in the front seat carries plenty of risks.  When driverless cars first debuted on California roads in 2018, a remote operator had to remain connected with the vehicle during driving periods in the event that a takeover was required. As of April 2019, Waymo was the only company with a California DMV license to operate driverless cars on public roads, according to the Verge. A hearing on driverless cars on California’s roads was most recently held in May 2019 to review proposed new regulations, according to the DMV.

Smart car, self-driving mode vehicle with Radar signal system and and wireless communication, Autonomous car

The hope is that self-driving cars will cut down on vehicle accidents and save lives. Many of the most common issues of human error associated with car accidents might be prevented when a self-driving car is used, according to the a study about the most common cause of accidents in California carried out by Axios. Those human errors include drunk driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and drowsy driving, all of which can result in catastrophic injuries and personal injury cases requiring car accident attorneys to help the victim recover loss and damages.

In 2016, the top three causes of traffic fatalities were all related to human behavior- drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding. Given the costly toll that traffic accidents have on the California population – in terms of injuries, deaths, lost time at work, and altered quality of life – it’s no surprise that there’s a major push for a technology that would help remove the risk of human error.

California Car Accident Statistics

California’s open roads and generally good weather make it a prime spot for road trips, commuting, and car and motorcycle use. However, that often comes with costs in the form of serious personal injuries, accidents, and lawsuits resulting from victims unable to get the recovery from their insurance companies.

While self-driving cars might be a real and viable solution to the accident epidemic, until self-driving cars are on the road, human error will likely continue as the top cause of vehicle accidents in California. Here are some of the most important facts surrounding car accidents in California from the stat’s Office of Traffic Safety and the National Safety Council:

  • Car accident related injuries claimed the lives of 48 people for every 100,000 living in California, according to 2018 data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • In the first half of 2018, car accident related deaths increased by 3% from the year before.
  • In 2016, 15% of drivers killed in auto accidents in California tested positive for legal or illegal drugs
  • Pedestrian and bicycle fatalities related to car collisions in California have also increased in recent years

No matter how your accident on California’s roads occurred, your ability to get back to work and to your normal life can be seriously impacted by a motor vehicle accident. Getting medical attention immediately can help you better understand how the accident might influence your life and future.

Whether the injuries are broken bones, fractures, whiplash, or other back pain, a California car accident attorney is a valuable resource to review your individual case and help you better understand your options that may include starting a personal injury case.

Questions About Your Car Accident Injuries? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been seriously injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted or negligent driver, California law enables you to pursue compensation. Dunnion Law has a track record of winning substantial settlements on behalf of many of its seriously injured clients. Finding a car accident attorney to file a lawsuit is an important next step for an injury victim struck in an accident or, for the loved ones attempting to put the pieces of their lives back together after the wrongful death of a family member.

From gathering evidence to managing negotiations for damages and loss, a personal injury lawyer plays a key role in helping you understand your rights and responsibilities and to maximize the compensation available to you.

Being hurt in a California car accident has the potential to alter a victim’s life for the foreseeable future. Hiring a personal injury lawyer in a timely way can be of critical importance, especially when the victim’s life has been impacted by serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries or concussions. If you or someone you know has already suffered in such an accident, it’s important to file sooner rather than later. If you have attempted to work things out with the insurance company and been unsuccessful, you don’t have to navigate the process alone. Dunnion Law can help answer your questions with a completely free case consultation.