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Will self-driving cars cause more car accidents in Florida?

Self-driving vehicles are a part of the near future, and Florida readers may want to know about how this new use of technology could affect them. Many states have permitted the testing of self-driving vehicles, and the Sunshine State is included in those numbers. However, a recent fatal accident involving a self-driving car and a pedestrian in another state have caused many to wonder if these vehicles could actually lead to a higher chance of car accidents.

In this recent unfortunate event, the autonomous car failed to detect the pedestrian and brake, as it was intended to do. There are many who think this form of transportation is actually more dangerous than many car companies want to admit, suggesting that states should pause or scale back their testing programs. However, Florida authorities have no plans to do that. 

In fact, Florida already allows the testing of vehicles without a human backup also inside the vehicles. Currently, companies are not required to report any incidents involving their vehicles to state officials even if one of their self-driving cars was involved in a car accident. One of the reasons that state authorities do not want to pause their ongoing programs is because many major tech and car companies are considering the state for expansion purposes.

Car companies and lawmakers have the responsibility to ensure the safety of motorists by having appropriate laws and safety regulations in place. As with all advances in technology, there could be certain risks to testing phases, including the possibility of car accidents. If any person suffers harm because of a negligent driver, or large tech or car company, he or she has the legal right to seek compensation.  

Source: Bloomberg, "After Uber Crash, Florida Still Welcomes Free-Range Robot Cars", David Welch, March 23, 2018

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