It sounds like something out of a sci-fi flick, a la “Total Recall” : Cars that can operate without drivers, ultimately reducing the risk of car accidents and Denver and across the globe.
As our Denver car accident attorneys understand, it’s a reality that could happen sooner than you think.
Several media outlets, including CNN Money, reports that such vehicles will likely make a gradual arrival on the market. One technology will build on another, with updated features introduced annually.
Right now, Google is conducting tests on cars that can navigate their way to certain routes with just a little input from humans. But those aren’t quite ready to hit the market just yet.
Those in favor of these new technologies believe that it could significantly reduce the number of car accident fatalities in Denver and across the world. When human error is the cause of almost 90 percent of car accidents (the rest are attributed to weather or road conditions), this theory seems to make sense.
Last year, more than 30,000 people in America were killed in car accidents.
A General Motors spokesman said auto manufacturers have been slowly adding certain automatic safety features. Some of what is already available includes:
1. Crash warning systems, which alert a driver to when a crash might occur, prompting the driver to step on the brakes.
2. Cruise control that uses an advanced radar technique to detect the distance of vehicles ahead and automatically slows to avoid a crash – but only if the vehicle is traveling more than 30 miles per hour.
3. A new Volvo system has a scanner to detect pedestrians, and will automatically apply the brakes if somebody walks out in front of the vehicle.
4. Vehicle to vehicle communication, which could broadcast speed, braking and steering maneuvers so that all cars in the immediate vicinity would know what every other car was doing.
5. Electronic stability, which allows drivers to avoid skidding if they must make an abrupt stop or turn.
6. Autonomous steering, which gently edges the car back to the center lane if it begins to drift.