On July 1st, a bill signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott paved the way for driverless vehicles to legally operate on the state’s roads and highways. While the bill’s proponents insist that such automobiles are safer than those driven by humans, accidents do happen, and people still get hurt.
In an ideal world, a driverless car would decrease crashes, lower insurance costs and help with the decrease in health insurance rates. In the real world, though, that’s not always the case. In May of this year, a Tesla on “autopilot” hit a truck, killing the driver in Willison, Fla. As a result, the car manufacturer reminds passengers to pay “constant attention” and practice “correction when necessary” when using “autopilot.”
Humans not required?
Florida’s 2016 legislation allows for driverless cars to operate on public roads without a human passenger. The previous requirement for “additional legislative or regulatory action that may be required for the safe testing and operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology” – from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report in 2014 – has also been eliminated. Although the initial testing stage is complete, applicable federal safety standards and regulations for driverless cars must still be honored.
No-fault laws still apply
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