As you may know, Google has been experimenting with cars that can actually drive themselves without human assistance using Google’s map applications along with other hardware like video cameras, lasers and radar to have a driverless car. One of Google’s self-driving cars was involved in a rear-end collusion in California. As expected, critics are now questioning the safety of these vehicles.
Google asserts that at the of this accident, the car was not driving itself but was, in fact, operated by one of its employees. “Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car,” said a Google spokesperson, noting that its self-driving cars have traveled more than 160,000 miles autonomously without incident.
This minor accident brings into focus the question of when will computer technology be sufficient to replace the judgment exercised by humans beings when they drive. Now, we have GPS’s which guide us to our destination, cruise control and active warning systems to alert us when somebody is in our blind spot. While the technology to replace human drivers is not yet here, it is not inconceivable that this will be coming in the not to distant future.
Nevada will become the first state in the nation to pass legislation legalizing driverless vehicles after considerable lobbying by Google. Nevada’s DMV is working on a series of regulations regarding self-driving cars, including requirements for insurance.
Certainly self-driving cars present the promise of reducing accidents from human error but until that day occurs, we will all be surrounded on the road by human drivers using their cell phones, blasting their radios, and distracted by all sorts of outside stimulii. Accidents due to driver negligence will occur and many of these drivers will not have liability insurance.
While the Bible tells us to err is human and to forgive is divine, we should all think about what happens if we or a loved one are seriously injured through the negligence of a driver who has not purchased insurance. The only way to protect you and your family from the financial consequences of this scenario, is to purchase uninsured motorist (UM) coverage from your insurance company. UM is not required by the State of Florida and is typically not included in your insurance policy when your agent sells you “full coverage.” You need to specifically ask your insurance agent for UM coverage when you purchase insurance or you will probably be out of luck if you get hit by an uninsured human driver.
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