Texas got a real treat recently when Google showcased their groundbreaking self-driving car prototype in Austin, but not all that came from the showing was fanfare. The presence of a self-driving car in Texas has many law makers and government officials giving real thought to the laws in the state and whether or not they are ready for these types of vehicles to hit local car dealerships and be available to the public.
The Perfect Motorist No One
When Google made its way to Austin for a conference hosted by the Texas Department of Transportation, they did not ask permission before crossing state lines whether it would be okay if the car drove them there, according to the Texas Tribune. Literally, the car drove the team from Google’s headquarters in California to Austin much to the ignorance of all drivers sharing the road with them.
The Tribune article highlighted that even if authorities had been made aware of the driverless car’s presence on Texas roadways, there would have been little, if anything for them to do as there are no laws that account for this kind of motor vehicle technology in the state. In fact, as the report explains, only three states California, Nevada, and Florida account for driverless vehicles in their transportation laws, and these were largely due to Google’s car making its way through those states.
One Big Question Who’s Fault Is It?
At the conference there were many aspects of legislation discussed with regards to driverless vehicles, but one issue seemed to keep popping up, according to Reporter News if there is an accident, and seemingly, the driver is not in control of the vehicle, which is at fault? The conclusion seemed to be that a complex legal framework would need to be constructed to deal with the issue of who or what would be at fault should an accident occur with a self-driving vehicle.
The Future Is Nyeâ€¦Or Is It
Google is definitely making strides when it comes to getting the proper laws in place to make their prototype something even feasible, but with only three states with laws on the books it looks like they still have a long road ahead of them. We do not yet know when driverless cars will be available for anyone to go purchase at car dealerships in Texas, but it seems Google’s visit has lit a flame in state law makers to be sure they are prepared when these vehicles do make their big debut.