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Safety perceptions and liability hamper self-driving cars

The future of the automobile seems firmly center on self-driving car technology. Well-known companies have invested in the aggregate billions of dollars in the research and development of autonomous vehicles. Developers have provided enthusiastic estimates for self-driving cars, leading many New York consumers to believe the roads may be filled with them in the coming decades. Despite the hype, a variety of problems may delay their development.

The major selling point of autonomous driving technology is safety. Most experts and developers agree that self-driving cars will be safer than regular cars, but this idea hasn't caught on with too many consumers yet. In fact, a survey reported that three-quarters of the respondents didn't consider self-driving cars to be safe. Even those who would buy and use a self-driving car still indicate they would want to take control of the car sometimes. This may create a dangerous gray area.

Questions of liability are very important when it comes to autonomous cars. Right now, accidents are usually the fault of a driver. When cars don't have drivers, the question of fault becomes much more complicated and much more open. Car manufacturers, technology developers and many others responsible for the car's systems and programming may be open to liability. How this may work is unclear, but experts agree it would require extensive reworking of the law regarding fault.

As self-driving car technology continues to advance, more drivers may need to deal with the legal issues and unknowns of this technology and car collisions that result from it. Like any new technology, unforeseen problems may likely arise and the issues will be ironed out over time. Accidents will occur, and people may need legal help in understanding how liability and fault are determined in their cases.

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