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NHTSA letter indicates support for self-driving vehicles

Ohio residents will likely know that several auto manufacturers and a number of leading technology companies are working on autonomous vehicle technology and developing self-driving cars. There are already vehicles on the market that are able to parallel park with no driver input, and modern electronic accident avoidance systems also work autonomously. Safety advocates are quick to point out that most car accidents involve human factors, and they believe that self-driving cars are the future of road safety.

Companies hoping to bring an autonomous vehicle to the market must navigate a challenging regulatory landscape. States including California and Nevada have passed laws allowing autonomous vehicles onto public roads, but some proposed legislation would require that humans be able to take control if they wish to. Companies like Google believe that true safety can only be achieved if humans are taken out of the driving equation completely, and they are pushing for fully autonomous vehicles with no steering wheels or brake pedals.

The NHTSA also seems to be leaning toward a fully autonomous future. A letter sent by the federal agency to Google on Feb. 4 indicates that artificial intelligence systems could soon be viewed in the same way as human drivers by federal lawmakers. This could lead to new regulations that allow vehicles with no traditional controls and allow autonomous vehicles onto the roads across the country. The agency say that it plans to review current safety rules and develop guidelines for the introduction of self-driving cars.

Driving may one day be a lost skill, but thousands will be killed or injured on the nation's roads every year until that day arrives. People who are in car accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries that render them unable to work for lengthy periods, and medical expenses may make their financial situations even more dire. When such an accident is caused by the negligence of another motorist, a personal injury attorney can often assist in seeking compensation for those losses.

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