Automated cars with no driver — what does it mean for you?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2019 | Car Accidents, Truck Accidents |

As Florida readers know, the race is on between various companies to be the first to widely market and sell automated vehicles. Technology companies and auto manufacturers are working on their version of a vehicle that will ultimately be able to drive with no human intervention. You may wonder how soon you will be sharing the road with these types of vehicles. 

Like others, you may wonder how safe these types of cars will be. Despite years of development and testing, there are still many reasons to be concerned about what automated vehicles could mean for your personal safety. Florida wanted to be one of the pioneering states for automated vehicles, and now it is looking to hold onto that status by allowing automated vehicles to operate without a backup human driver.

Are human operators necessary?

Florida has been a state where many of these companies have been testing their automated vehicles. Now, lawmakers are proposing to remove the current requirement of having a human backup driver in the vehicle, just in case something goes wrong. There are many factors to consider and reasons for concern regarding this proposal, including: 

  • Removing this requirement is a significant vote of confidence for technology that some experts believe needs more vetting and testing.
  • One of the lawmakers proposing this newest legislation believes that automated vehicles will actually make the roads safer.
  • Some believe that this could open up economic benefits, as well as offer certain mobility options to individuals who cannot drive themselves.
  • It is possible humans are no longer necessary because the technology is advanced enough at this point where it could take care of an incident report if necessary.

Even if you do not believe that automated cars are safe or necessary, the reality is that you will likely be driving alongside them soon. Like others in the state, you may watch with interest as these vehicles will be hitting the road with no human supervision in the near future.

So, what?

Automated cars bring a host of new legal concerns to the forefront. Who is to blame if one of these cars malfunctions? What if the car’s software makes the wrong choice and innocent people receive injury? These will be complex legal situations that many will have to navigate in the years to come. 

No matter the circumstances of your accident, you have the right to learn about the legal options available to you. If another person or party is to blame for what happened to you, you could have grounds to seek compensation through a civil claim.


attorneys Brad Culpepper and Brett J. Kurland