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Even though there have been safety concerns raised after a Tesla driver died when his vehicle was operating on autopilot, automakers are still moving towards releasing more self driving cars. 

BMW has partnered with Intel and announced that it will make a fully automated car by 2021. Some wonder if the timeline for that goal is possible. The technology is probably possible but it is not sure if the regulations are going to be in place for such a vehicle to operate without any limits on public roads.

In addition, public acceptance of self-driving  vehicles could be a major obstacle to their use. The Tesla death, which happened when the vehicle’s software did not recognize a white tractor trailer turning in front of it, raises concerns about people being willing to ride in cars that are fully automated.


After the Tesla crash, the company stated that the driver should have had his hands on the wheel and been ready to take over the  vehicle.

Experts say that the safety record for autonomous cars in the next five years will be very important. If more deaths occur, the public may be slow to accept self driving vehicles.

If the safety record during this testing period stays clean, other manufacturers will be racing to produce self-driving cars. Already Google is working on self-driving technology and is planning to build self-driving cars that do not need any driver intervention.

Our View

Our car accident law firm in Virginia supports any technology that will lead to safer public roads. After all, more than 35,000 people die in America each year in car accidents. The vast majority of those accidents are due to driver error. It seems to us that automated vehicles – at least ones that drive in automated mode with the driver able to take over if needed – will eventually reduce the number of deadly accidents on our roads. Car accidents caused by human beings due to driver inattention, fatigue, drunk driving and pure carelessness are far too common, and often lead to serious injuries and lawsuits. 

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