If you are like many residents in Maryland and around the country, you may be watching closely the continued evolution of self-driving cars. You may logically wonder when the roads in your neighborhood might be filled with these vehicles. You might also wonder if these autonomous cars will actually be able to reduce or eliminate accidents as is so often touted. This is indeed an important question.
However, instead of focusing on a particular vehicle's or technology's ability to improve safety, it might be more appropriate to focus on the potential adoption or not of these vehicles and the technologies that make them possible. According to Car and Driver, earning the trust of drivers may be as hard if not harder than developing the autonomous vehicles themselves.
Science has shown that human beings tend to associate control with safety. This means that when a person gives up control, such as moving from the driver's seat to the passenger's seat, there may be a perceived increase in their risk. This fact could make it hard for companies to woo people away from their human-driven vehicles. Some are concerned that the actual safety improvements needed to do this will be so great that human lives are essentially put on the line in the meantime.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to point out to Maryland residents some of the challenges that may be inherent in improving safety on the roads, therefore highlighting the ongoing need for help after an accident happens.