Year after year, it seems that car technology gets better and better: “hot” technology used to consist of side air-bags, anti-lock brakes, and even shatterproof windshields – all of which are indispensable to keeping us safe on our roads today. And now, auto technology has reached an even greater feat: self-driving cars, thanks to Google technology.

Over the last year, Google has been passionate about fully developing and implementing a self-driving vehicle as a part of their technology accomplishments.  The self-driving car first started its quest in Palo Alto, California – “car hosts” as opposed to drivers sat back and let technology work its magic. With carefully placed sensors, the car maneuvered in every way a self-driving vehicle should – without any assistance from the driver. The vehicle completely drove itself.

The car traveled hundreds of miles free of any occurrence of car accidents or injury. In other words, with its short pilot test, Google’s self-driving vehicle was a success and suggested technology may be one step closer to improved vehicle safety.

With its applauded success in California, Google took their efforts to Nevada, where Governor Brian Sandoval (R) witnessed technology first hand as a passenger in the vehicle. As trial efforts are underway in Nevada, Google will aim to seek approval for their technology at a state level with hopes for national acceptance.

“[It] actually allowed me to get behind the wheel and the car drove me… The car automatically breaks for you; it’s not an abrupt break. It was quite amazing to be able to let go of the steering wheel and take your foot off the gas. After my experience I have trust in its safety.”

With an apparent thumbs-up from Governor Sandoval, self-driving cars may come to Nevada sooner than later. At the end of their trial testing, Google will meet with Nevada DMV staff to create laws surrounding the self-driving car.

But not everyone is as applauding: some insist that removing human interaction behind the wheel is simply too risky.

“It’s kind of frightening when you think about it. You don’t know if it’s got the capability to do what humans can do.” said a Nevada DMV employee.

Will self-driving vehicles make car accidents a thing of the past?

It seems that Nevada is eager to adopt the self-driving car into its roadways. Governor Sandoval proposed a big economic advantage to building the cars in Nevada since it could bring a wealth of new jobs and technology to its dismal marketplace.

“I have a 16-year-old son who’s going to be hitting the road, perhaps this could help him as well,” said Sandoval.

Until self-driving cars hit the mainstream (national acceptance is expected in 10 years), use common sense behind the wheel to avoid accidents today.  Never drink and drive, avoid the use of distracting technology while driving, and never use your cell phone or engage in texting and drive. While the promise of reduced car accidents may be a hope for the future,, it’s the perceivably “little” actions mentioned above that can be, in fact, the biggest contributors to stopping car accidents today. Simply put, always put intentional focus on your driving when behind the wheel.

About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC

Michael Pines is an accident and injury prevention expert at the La Jolla Light, Del Mar Times, and Rancho Santa Fe Review with monthly safety columns occurring at each paper. Personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Pines have helped injured people seek fair recovery since 1992. For a free case evaluation, call 1-858-551-2090 or use our online contact form.

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