Will driverless vehicles be required to have a human onboard?

It is easy to understand why many people are eager to see the arrival of driverless cars. The technology has the potential to ease congestion and reduce the number of traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities.

While it is not yet clear that the promise of driverless tech will be delivered, it is increasingly clear that Rockville streets will one day soon be populated with at least some driverless vehicles. One of the looming questions is whether all of those driverless vehicles will have humans in them.

Not far from us, members of Congress are apparently keen on allowing the development of driverless technology that would not require the presence of humans in the vehicles. But according to a recent Pew Research poll, most Americans are not on-board with computer-piloted vehicles rolling across America without any humans on board.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they favor a law that would require all vehicles to have at least one person inside; someone who could take the controls of the vehicle in an emergency.

Presumably, trucking companies and delivery companies would like to shed overhead by eliminating trucker and other driving jobs. Proponents of driverless technology argue that it will eliminate fatigued, distracted and drunken drivers among others who pose risks to public safety.

While we don't know what laws regulating driverless vehicles will allow and disallow, we do know that today there are still far too many accidents caused by careless, inattentive and reckless drivers. Those injured in crashes caused by those drivers can pursue compensation and justice with the help of an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.

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Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

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