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Driverless vehicles could reduce number of car accidents

There was a time when your friendly Texas mechanic would give your car a checkup by popping the hood and having a direct look at the engine. However, nowadays, automotive diagnostics consist largely of a technician downloading data from your car's on-board computer system. Models of cars are constantly being given technological upgrades, in part to make them safer on the road.

Yet, for all the newly applied tech improvements designed to help prevent car accidents, automobiles still have one significant potential for error—they are controlled by humans. Human error is often responsible for auto mishaps. However, designers of Google’s driverless cars are looking to eliminate such errors by taking control from humans and turning it over to the machines.

Google’s self-driving vehicle has been in development for several years. Early on, the car’s abilities were limited to navigating the simple conditions found on the open highway. But recent improvements have made it capable of handling more complex driving environments.

The driverless vehicles use on-board radar, lasers and video cameras to capture information about the terrain through which they are traveling. The cars come equipped with computers which interpret the data and, in turn, maneuver the vehicle accordingly so as to avoid hazards.

There would be advantages to self-driving cars dominating the roadway. The vehicles’ computer systems are totally dedicated to performing the task of safe driving. Unlike humans, the computers do not get distracted by phone calls or texts. Nor do they get tired or consume alcohol before taking to the road.

As for now, the driverless car is still not road-ready for the general public. So for the time being, we humans remain vulnerable to the potential of collisions with drivers who ignore safe driving practices. Such accidents can cause severe damage to vehicles and severe injury to people.

If you are the victim of someone else’s negligent driving, you may find that seeking compensation can be an arduous process. A Texas attorney who understands the complexity of liability and auto insurance laws may be able to help steer you toward receiving the due payments you need to help recover your losses.

Source: Market Watch, "Autopilot: Google’s self-driving car is arriving shortly," Mike Schuster, April 30, 2014

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